Cradled

I sat down on the sofa with my mug of coffee to start the day with prayer. The house was quiet apart from the patter of rain and song of birds that reached my ears through cracked open windows. I’d slept alright, but I was tired. Tired from long hours, packed into days, stacked into weeks, collected into months. 

Do you feel that way too, at times? 

Do you sense that there is hope for a new beginning—a new school year, the new season of fall, new relationships—and also that what we would like to leave behind still lingers?

I opened my devotional and read from the prophet Isaiah: “You shall nurse, carried in her arms,/ cradled upon her knees;/ As a mother comforts her child,/ so I will comfort you;/ in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort” (Isaiah 66:12-13).

The word that stayed with me: “cradled.” 

This word spoke to a deep longing in me. In that word, I knew my prayer for the day: “Lord, I want to be cradled by you. Let me sit in your lap. Hold me in your arms. When I’m cradled by you, I find rest and peace.”

God is sure and steady, but by midday I felt myself getting rocked right out of that cradle. Child crying (alas, screaming) unless held. Child melting down the chair at the thought of math. Text chiming with messages of sickness, news of a death, prayer requests. 

Gaze no longer on God’s face, my tear-filled tired eyes looked down at the bathroom floor as I rested where parents of young kids rest.

I mustered the energy to leave the bathroom, to put one foot in front of the other, and figure out what to do next.

And then I remembered our Mother, Mary. And she invited me to rest with her.

So, while my littlest napped, and my bigger kids played with LEGOs, I laid down and prayed a Rosary. Every prayer held me. Mary cradled me in her arms. I laid, cradled in love. Secure. At peace.

How does our Mother, Mary desire to cradle you? Will you accept her invitation?

God, you are a good Father. You comfort us. You embrace us with tenderness. Thank you for the gift of our Mother, Mary. As we move through the minutes and hours of our days, give us the grace to remember that Mary is always present to us. She knows this journey, Lord, and she loves to cradle her children in her arms. Amen.

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