It is 5 o’clock in the morning, and no, I am not up enjoying the prospect of an earlier sunrise. I am cat-sleeping. A couple of hours at a time – which is OK in some ways, but something about which I feel guilty, or tell myself that I ought to feel guilty!
It’s not a new thing; I love sleeping, but I don’t seem to be able to do it when everyone else does.
There is a lot of advice out there about what one ought to do to sleep, but of course it’s contradictory and, for me at least, difficult to implement.
The best and most helpful advice I ever received was given to me by myself, no less!
Digging into the earliest hard copy issues of our “little magazine”, I come upon something I wrote for a very early issue. It was a recommendation for a small book written by a still favourite author, C.S. Lewis. The book was a collection of letters to an American woman who had sought his advice. He began in 1950 and continued for the rest of his life, answering her questions, offering advice, and even sending her money when it became possible for him to do so.
I was amazed at his dedication; he had no one to assist him and he found the actual writing painful as well as a chore, believing that he had a duty to provide comfort to all who needed it. He replied, in his own handwriting of course, to everyone, even to children. It appears that I am once again recommending the book Letters to an American Lady, by C.S. Lewis!
Lewis was not a physically robust man. While writing these letters, he was patiently experiencing a lot of pain, caused by illness and personal loss. The woman to whom he was writing, however, continued to talk about her own problems, with an apparent disregard for other demands on the time of an extremely busy and successful writer.
Nevertheless, Lewis continues his unrelenting kindness to her with words of comfort and prayer. He promises her, “I shall pray for you whenever I wake in the night”.
And when I apply this practice to my own wakefulness, I find that I receive a blessing. Thinking about someone else is always good medicine for me, as is opening my heart to the One who is the author and creator of all good, and who is able and ready to meet all our needs.
Jesus, in the gospel of Matthew (11:28-30), issues the following invitation:
“Come unto me all you that are weary
and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me;
for I am gentle and humble in heart
and you shall find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
When I was a little girl and woke my mother up to tell her about a bad dream, she would tell me to “say my prayers” before I tried to go back to sleep again.
So as we sometimes sing: “There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.”
God bless us every one!