"Moon, Mama. There's the moon. See?" he exclaimed with sudden energy.
"No, the movie ..." I quickly saw that something much grander had captured his attention. It was full and bright, and though I'm sure he'd seen it the night before, Shane greeted the moon like a long-lost friend. As I carried him toward the car, he twisted and turned in every direction, never losing sight of his enchantment. "Yes, I see the moon." I said. After tucking him into the car and pulling away, I heard him begin to cry.
"Where did moon go?" Shane asked.
Trying to comfort him, I drove the car around the parking lot, hoping to position us properly for another glimpse. However, even when I was sure he could see it, the roof of the car still blocked his view. In a tired, defeated whimper, he said, "Good night moon." In and out of sleep, he softly cried.
Throughout the drive home, I scanned outside all of our windows and stretched forward peering through the windshield, trying to spot the moon again for Shane to see. Even though it was a chilly November night, I even opened the sunroof for a couple of seconds, hoping to see the moon just above our heads. No luck. We simply couldn't see it from inside our car.
Once we arrived home, I pulled him from his car seat, and quietly pointed up toward the star-filled sky. He raised his sleepy head, opened his eyes wide and said, "Ah-w-w, there it is."
"It never left, honey; we just couldn't see it. The moon's always there even though you might not be able to see it. Do you feel better?"
"Yeah ..." he answered half-heartedly as he lowered his head to my shoulder.
There was a familiarity in the words I used to teach my son something new that night. There was a familiarity in Shane's despair when he thought the moon was gone. I realized this wasn't as much a teaching moment for Shane, as it was a teaching moment for me.
Christ, our light in the darkness, is always, always there. If I'm in the comfort of my home or in the uncertainty of a far-away land, He's there shining down on me. If a cloud of despair separates me from Him, He's right there awaiting its dissipation. Even when, through my self-proclaimed self-sufficiency, I interrupt His light and cause a total lunar eclipse, He still waits for me, patiently, in His steadfast position.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:7-10)