From the vault, one of my favourite columns…and memories:
The wrapped-up-in-peace business started on one of my Friday afternoons with our grandbeans. After lunch, Dinah Jane, just two at the time, seemed tired and cranky. During a colouring session, she wanted to keep all the crayons. “No, honey,” I told her. “Your brother and sister need to colour too.”
She opened her mouth. A skinned cat can’t holler half so well as she can – even still, at nine. I knew what was coming. “Darlin’,” I said, when the cat was about half-skinned. “That’s a pretty heavy feeling you’re carrying. Would you like Nana to wrap you in some peace?”
“Yes. I would,” she sobbed, arms already outstretched.
Swaddling her small form in a couch throw, I carried her into my office, shut the door behind us and sat down in my chair. Swiveling it back and forth, I began humming.
“Jesus loves me, this I know…”
Her crying got a tad softer. “Someone’s cryin’ Lord…Kumbayah…” likely came next. I can’t remember. But after a few more songs, and a prayer for God to help the little one in my arms find her way back to a peaceful spirit—as he has so often done for me—her crying stopped.
Minutes later, a smiling tyke skipped out the office door. In the living room, she scooped up her baby doll. “Do you need to be wapped in some peace?” she asked, tumbling it about in a smaller blanket. Picking it up, and plunking down on a footstool, she began rocking. Above her siblings’ chatter, I heard her pure voice. “Jesus loves me, this I know…”
Months later, the Beans and I took a long walk together, and landed at the playground a block behind their house. Dinah, who’d trudged the entire way without complaint, perched gratefully on a swing beside her older siblings. They soared, but as I pushed her, she shouted, as though suddenly alarmed. “Nana! Stop ya pushin! Ah need to be wapped in some peace!”
Thinking the Bobcat making big noise at the other end of the park had frightened her, and amused that she remembered our time in my office, I picked her up. Wrapping my sweater around her, I sat on the swing instead. This time I recited some short scriptures that speak of God bringing peace to his children.
Her head flopped and her arm dropped. I carried her then. She didn’t wake till we got home. She wasn’t afraid after all. Just tired.
I’m a simple Christ-follower. Unapologetically, I believe this: One day, when life around me is in full swing, when I’ve walked my mile, I’ll feel a strange and sudden weariness. I may not be able to voice it, but God will hear my spirit’s cry. “Jesus, I need to be wrapped in some peace!”
The Prince of Peace will pick me up. Let my head flop on his shoulder. Then he’ll carry me. And when I wake, I’ll be home.
I also believe this: If you know him, he’ll do the same for you.