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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Prayer for Light

Kiana Grant Photography

We talked to Felipe last evening, in a FaceTime call, toward the end of the day. And I continued to see him, throughout the night, in my sleep. He was wearing white. A thermal shirt, long-sleeved, which struck me as rather Minnesota for his Colombia climate. And he was wearing his necklace. The one we gave him, the very first summer, during that crazy intense “up north” vacation, when we were still figuring out what it meant to be family.

Ephesians 3:14-21. The reference engraved in sterling silver, hanging around my son’s neck. The source of the verse I’ve recently chosen for my book’s dedication:

To my five sons—Grant, Luke, Nils, Felipe, and Jimmy… As your dad and I have prayed countless times throughout your lives, may you know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God…

Last night, talking to Felipe in that video call, there was so much white. He’d been working on homework, at his kitchen table, not expecting our call. I’m sure I’ve seen his apartment before, but I never realized how white it is, how full of light. Because often when he calls us, he’s shrouded in shadows. Shades pulled in some darkened bedroom. But last night, there was light.

It’s what I’ve been praying. My only prayer, to be honest, these last few weeks. God’s light in my son’s darkness. Whatever that darkness happens to be. And could this be an answer to prayer?

He is a LONG way away. Independent; yet not at all. Of all of our sons, the most distant, and most in need of our help.

Weighed down. Heavy. My soul is dark. He used to tell us, and I’d cringe. Over two years ago, since he lived here, with us. He’d thought—and even received counsel—maybe leaving the gloom of Minnesota—returning home to his country’s sunshine—would dispel some darkness. And he loves it there.

But shaking that dark has been hard.

I’ve been reading this book. I could devour this one, but I’m choosing to savor. Half a chapter each morning after Bible, making it last as long as I can. Because it’s beautifully written, and because I NEED it.

This Prayer in the Night.*

I think about Felipe. And I think about others, too.

Night is not just hours on the clock. How many of us lie awake at night, unable to fall back asleep, worrying over the day ahead, thinking of all that could go wrong, counting our sorrows? (Warren, page 14)

What is my son’s sleep like these days, so far away?

What awful memories keep him up in the night?

I imagine he stays awake, gaming. Darkest games, if things haven’t changed. Catching up on sleep in daytime, when he might be basking in all that sun.

This is just a mom, guessing. Maybe I’m wrong. He is an adult, after all. Capable of making his own decisions.

But he still needs us. Still needs our God.

So we pray.

Warren reminds us that Jesus left a place where there is no night to enter into our darkness (page 29).

And Jesus is LIGHT.

I pray, this morning, and I wonder. Last night, did we maybe glimpse something? Some flickering promise of light?

We did glimpse THIS. There was a black lab puppy! In his apartment. Adorable. We watched it pee on the floor over FaceTime. Not Felipe’s—his roommate’s. His roommate’s mess to clean up. And we laughed together.

We’ve needed to laugh.

As we pray for the Light.

*Prayer in the Night, by Tish Harrison Warren

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