What do I tell the daughter who lies awake afraid that death might visit while she sleeps?
That death never visits little girls?
Do I tell her this one little lie that will help her sleep even while my mother attends the funeral of a 3 year old whose afternoon nap was his gateway to heaven?
What do I tell my girl who thinks every tiny ache and growing pain might be indicative of some greater disease?
That cancers and tumors and severe maladies can be kept at bay with just the right concoction of vitamins, exercise, and sunshine?
Do I assuage her fears by assuring her that those things can't and won't touch her, not while God and I are standing guard?
What do I tell the boy whose spelling words stop him cold, frozen in the certainty that he is dumb and stupid and none of his dreams will come true?
Do I tell him that he is the smartest boy ever and that nothing can thwart his future ambitions, that the sky is the limits and that, yes, you can be an NBA player and preacher and engineer and more?
That he is the master of his fate and captain of his soul and nothing can touch you as long as you persevere hard enough and long enough?
Do I sugarcoat their fears with a extra dusting of denial and shallow faith that says good people never suffer long?
Or, do I share the truth?
The truth that says our days are numbered, that God alone knows the length of them. That yes, He stands guard and He sees and knows even the pain and frustration.
But that the presence of pain and trials of life doesn't equate to the absence of God.
Whatever comes, He knows and He is here, He will be there.
Yes, this and more:
"When I am afraid, I will trust in You."