Sunday, January 09, 2005

Out of the Mouths of Babes (written for shul newsletter)

“If you and Daddy get dead and I am still a children, who will be my Mommy & Daddy?”

Beernut’s question brought our dinner-time conversation to a momentary standstill. He wasn’t really inferring that we, his parents, are replaceable. Rather, he was asking “who will take care of me if you aren’t here to do it?”

Children are often able to verbalize the fears that we as adults find difficult to express. Their innocence and candor permits a freedom that is lacking once we enter adulthood. The topic of death is a very adult topic, but the fears of abandonment and loneliness are ageless. When our loved ones die, we experience loneliness and the sense of abandonment can be palpable. We learn of the Psalmist’s anguish in Psalm 22:

My God, my God, why have You abandoned me; why so far from delivering me and from my anguished roaring? My God, I cry by day – You answer not; by night, and have no respite. (Ps. 22:2-3)

In our darkest moments, it is so very natural to feel distanced from God. It can truly feel as though God has betrayed us and that very distance acts as proof of God’s rejection. How then can we find our way back?

When I am desolate and afraid, I turn to the Psalms. I hear in them a keening not unlike my own. And then I hear the hope. The trust in God’s Presence. The reconciliation between the Psalmist and God.

I put my hope in the Eternal; God inclined toward me and heeded my cry. God lifted me out of the miry pit…and set my feel on a rock, steadied my legs. (Ps. 40:2-3)

Our Tradition gives voice to our full range of emotions. How blessed we are to have such a legacy from which we can garner strength!


PepGiraffe said...

Wait, so what did you tell him?

Rivster said...

While PC (short for Prince Charming) choked on his dinner, I quietly explained that Beernut has 4 grandparents who love him very much and would always take care of him.

PepGiraffe said...

Hee hee. Choked on dinner. Hee hee. Anyway, check out