Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away
Little G was in rare form at bedtime tonight. He screamed. He thrashed. He kicked. He even earned himself a time-out by whacking Big G on the head with a Hot Wheels car.
Then finally…to bed. And oh, the crying. Such a mean, terrible mom, to take him to bed. (Side note: As I’m headed back, Car says, “Good luck with that.” Dude. Not cool.)
We got to his bed, and he had his pillow pet, his Thomas train, his blanket. He was all set. But he kept moaning the same word over and over.
“Broken. Broken, mommy. Broken.”
“What’s broken, baby?”
“Broken. Thomas broken.”
Finally I understood. Thomas is a remote control engine and, strangely enough, I neglected to send the remote control to bed with him. How terribly forgetful of me.
“Thomas is sleeping, baby. He needs to sleep at night, just like you.” Seriously, people, I was congratulating myself for that stroke of genius.
“Thomas broken! Broken! Thomas broken!” And he started sobbing.
“Oh, honey. Thomas isn’t broken. See? He’s just tired. He needs to sleep.” I turned Thomas on his side and tucked the blanket around him. Then I leaned over and kissed Thomas on his little plastic nose. (Mom of the year!)
“Broken. Thomas broken.”
“In the morning, he’ll wake up and you’ll be able to play with him. But first you both need to get some sleep.” At this point Little G was starting to tire out. He burrowed a little deeper into his covers, put a protective hand over Thomas, and finally fell asleep.
This all got me to thinking…how many things do I cling to that I think are broken?
I spent years wanting children. I clutched that dream tightly to my chest, sure I was broken and would never see the morning when it would come true. It was a very long night (in my jumbled up metaphor), but the morning arrived and I have my two boys.
I was talking to a friend last night, someone who feels hopeless about the future. I firmly believe she has a Heavenly Father watching over her, whispering (as I did with Little G), “Honey, it’s not hopeless. You just need to be patient and wait for the morning.”
Little G only has to wait through the night for Thomas, but I’m sure to him it feels like an eternity. Sometimes we have to wait weeks, months, even years…but the answers come. We find out things aren’t broken as we thought they were. Still, it feels like forever, because we don’t know how long it’ll be. It’s like that whole weird thing that happens when you’re driving to an unknown location—it always seems to take twice as long to get there as it does to get home. The distance doesn’t change—just our perception.
Jeffery R. Holland gave a phenomenal talk titled “Broken Things to Mend” in April 2006 General Conference. He said, “If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended.” He then shared this poem by George Blair:
In Nazareth, the narrow road,
That tires the feet and steals the breath,
Passes the place where once abode
The Carpenter of Nazareth.
And up and down the dusty way
The village folk would often wend;
And on the bench, beside Him, lay
Their broken things for Him to mend.
The maiden with the doll she broke,
The woman with the broken chair,
The man with broken plough, or yoke,
Said, “Can you mend it, Carpenter?”
And each received the thing he sought,
In yoke, or plough, or chair, or doll;
The broken thing which each had brought
Returned again a perfect whole.
So, up the hill the long years through,
With heavy step and wistful eye,
The burdened souls their way pursue,
Uttering each the plaintive cry:
“O Carpenter of Nazareth,
This heart, that’s broken past repair,
This life, that’s shattered nigh to death,
Oh, can You mend them, Carpenter?”
And by His kind and ready hand,
His own sweet life is woven through
Our broken lives, until they stand
A New Creation—”all things new.”
“The shattered [substance] of [the] heart,
Desire, ambition, hope, and faith,
Mould Thou into the perfect part,
O, Carpenter of Nazareth!”
Those last three stanzas? Yeah, that’s the hard part. Fixing Thomas in the morning will be a magical process. Ta-da! A remote control! Mom fixes everything! Mending a broken heart? Restoring faith? That’s where our Savior steps in. But having patience…boy, oh boy. If only we had an easy way to learn that.
Still, I figure Heavenly Father and Jesus have way more power than I do, so if I can make Thomas work in the morning? They can fix the other stuff.
So let’s go sleep, shall we?