I've noticed lately that, on a couple of occasions every week, Matthew has taken to telling me that he needs some time on his own to think and pray. So, for something like ten or fifteen minutes, he disappears somewhere and then comes back, usually reluctant to say much about it, but sometimes reiterating that he needed some time to think and pray. Last week, after my discouraging conversation with JoAnn at Imagine about our lack of progress towards a referral, Matthew saw that I was upset and, a short while later, announced that he had to be on his own for a bit. Here's where I saw him a few minutes later...on the kitchen counter:
About ten minutes later, he came running back to me and gave me a hug.
He said, "Mom, you know what's more important to me than my new t-shirt?"
Me: "No, what?" Knowing that he loved his new Yoda t-shirt a lot.
Matthew: "You, Mom. I'd give up my t-shirt for you."
His tone of voice was so earnest, so heart-felt, so ready to do battle for me if needed. I was moved by his intensity and his compassion. Also a wee bit concerned, to be honest, because I don't want him feeling responsible for the state of my happiness, and he'd just seen me crying after my Imagine phonecall and had talked with me about what that was about. I looked him in the eye and thanked him and told him how much that meant to me; and I asked him if that's what he had been thinking and praying about.
He said something like (I may have confused a couple of words): "Yup. I know you're sad that my brother and sister aren't home yet. I'm sad, too, and I just wish they could come home already. So I prayed about being sad and about you being sad, and asked God if he could help out with that."
With tears in my eyes, I held that precious boy close to my heart and thanked him for being so wise about knowing that God could help. I said that lately, I'd been pretty sad about everything and that he wasn't responsible for making me happy. Then I said that I needed to learn from his example, by remembering that God was in control of our situation and by trusting him to know what's best for us.
Funny thing is this...I'm not sure if it was that moment of closeness or some Matthew-sought divine intervention, but we had a pretty good rest of the day. I haven't since been that low since then either. I'm inclined to believe it was a God thing.
* Thank you for the comments, folks - as always, they are so appreciated!!!