Saturday, March 28, 2015

Devotional - Psalm 8:1-2: The Attic Child

Lord, our Lord,
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
   in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
   you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
   to silence the foe and the avenger.  Psalm 8:1-2 NIV

Once, long ago, in a crib high and hidden in an attic, there was a lonely little girl.  She had been moved from her sunny room in the center of the house to make space for a precious new baby sister.  There wasn’t enough space in the heart of the house for both girls, so the toddler slept in the attic, clutching the crib-rail so that she would not fly off into the night as the household spun around the axis of the newborn.

There were nights when the attic-child cried herself to sleep.  She would cry, and wait, and listen to see if anyone was coming.  But no one did, and she would cry again, and sleep, and wake in an empty room.  She was too far away for the grownups to hear.  There was a bear named John who did care, but there was very little he could do for her as he was stuffed with cotton and could not move of his own volition.

The child was left defenseless.  At least it seemed so to her - until the night the witch came.

Sleeping soundly, the little attic-girl sensed a dark stirring at the periphery of her consciousness.  She woke, but felt afraid to open her eyes.  There was a presence.  She was not alone in the attic.

Witches (evil witches) thrive on terror.  They need neither take nor touch their victims to torment them until they are in an extremity of fear. This witch simply stood in the shadows between the small child and the attic door and began to cackle.  Slow and low at first, but building to a cacophonous crescendo.

Adrenaline coursed through the child’s system and every hair stood on end. Her pulse raced faster and faster as she tried not to draw the attention of the witch.  But a scream was building and it burst from her with terrifying force!  She screamed and she screamed and she screamed and the witch laughed louder.

Nobody came.  No one.

John couldn’t fight for her, because he was a bear stuffed with cotton and could not move of his own volition.

The sleeping household spun in the night around the axis of the newborn.

Terror unhinged her, and the child lost her hold on the crib-rail.  She was thrown into the air by centrifugal force, spinning out of control through the dark attic space.  Her little body passed right through the hideous hag, who vanished like a cold mist at dawn. The evil laughter stopped abruptly, burned away by the heat of the child passing through.

Between the crib and the door and the utter blackness of the void beyond the attic, that child was caught up in a pair of ARMS!  She found herself held and bound by safety, safety so tangible that it felt like all the love for which she had ever cried herself to sleep.  No light came on in the room, yet it seemed to the little girl that the room WAS light, and that she was held by light, and that she was filled with light.  It was this light that had revealed the witch for what she was - nothing but a vapor.  Nothing but a dream.

Those strong arms cradled the child, and the person to whom they were attached bent down and kissed her on her forehead. That kiss became a star in a crown that the little girl would wear for the rest of her life, but that night, she just fell back asleep.  ~ Beverly Ewart 3.27.15