THE BENEDICTION

By Lisa Huddleston

Every weekday my husband rises early and stealthily makes his way to the bathroom in the dark.  And because of the fashionable transom windows over our bathroom doors, he kindly (but unnecessarily) dresses in near-dark using only the dim light from my makeup mirror.  He is being kind.  I feel guilty.

After he dresses, eats his breakfast, and feeds the animals, he stumbles back to our bed and crawls in.  His hands are freezing as he places them on my sleep-warmed skin—belly, arms, legs—wherever they land.  It often shocks me, but I don’t complain (too much) because he has to get up and get going while I am lazily lying there half-asleep.

And then he prays for our day and the days of our children and our friends.  And I am blessed.  The benediction.

This morning I was stranded in a terribly sad dream.  The house was in disarray.  Chuck was moving out, and I couldn’t understand why, and I couldn’t get out of my tousled sheets, and I couldn’t stop crying.  Paralyzed by grief and heavy sleep, I couldn’t move a muscle.  I was trapped in the despair of the dream.

Then cold hands gently eased around my waist.  On some days I may have yelled, “Hey you!”  But today I rejoiced.  Cold reality shocking me out of the deadly dream.  Pulling back the heavy blankets and allowing  me to receive the benediction of the day.  And I was blessed.

Amen.