“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9
Few things can compare to the feeling of being safe and sound. As a teacher, I see children who go to bed hungry, come to school dirty, and live life full of fear and disappointment. Some children never know what it feels like to eat a home cooked meal. They have never experienced the comfort of a nice, warm bath with soap to wash their body. Rather than thinking about riding bikes and climbing trees, they are thinking about where to hide when daddy gets home or what not to tell the teachers about last night. I count myself blessed to have lived a life that leaves me feeling safe and sound.
My dad tucked me in bed at night. I would brush my teeth and climb in the bed next to my sister and we would wait…wait for him to saunter down the hallway and into our bedroom. He would find us with our legs and bare feet stretched out across the crisp, white sheet. He would assure us that no one was looking in the windows or hiding under our bed, pull the quilt up to our chins, kiss us on the forehead, and turn out the light. As he left the room, he said, “Go to sleep now, girls. I love you.” This was a ritual and became the greatest source of comfort I have ever experienced. I was secure in the fact that my dad loved me because he told me every single day.
My mom never worked outside the home. She was there when we left for school and she was there when we returned home. My mom washed our clothes and worked hard to make us feel extra special. My sisters and I would leap off the bus and rush to the house because we had missed her so much! Before we landed on the front door, the smell of chocolate chip snack cake danced from the kitchen straight to our noses. It was a sweet comfort just knowing she was there and all was well. I knew I was safe because my mom spent every waking moment protecting me.
Indeed my parents gave me the gifts of comfort, love, and protection. Not only did I experience these great gifts, but they taught me how to extend comfort, love, and protection to other people. I believe that God placed a man and woman of great character in my life so that I could use what they taught me to enhance the lives of the people in my path.
My great prayer is that God would save all the children from heartache and sadness. I pray that the angel of the Lord would encamp around suffering children and give them a sense of safety. May God use me each and every day in my classroom and the world to demonstrate comfort, love, and protection. I realize now that what my family had was rare—something that others hunger and thirst after. I thank God for my dad and mom…my comfort.