“Dear God, thank you for everything that you have done for us. Thank you for letting us have a good day. Please let us rest well tonight so that we may have a good day tomorrow. Give the boys a pair of angels to watch over their dreams. Let them know how much you love them and how much I love them and how very safe they are. Amen.”
This simple prayer is part of our bedtime routine and I have found that I receive as much comfort from it as the boys do. Some days there are more additions – prayer requests or gratitude. One night as I prayed I accidentally told God I loved him. In my mind, I immediately apologized, “No, no! I didn’t mean to say that!” I think there was shame. How can I love a God I don’t know? How can God love me if I don’t know him, or love me at all?
I remember one time in college where I “accidentally” told someone I loved them. It was a guy I had liked in high school and we had recently reconnected. We were chatting on the phone one day and as we were hanging up, I ended the conversation with “I love you.” I was mortified – I immediately hung up the phone. He immediately called me back and at first I refused to pick up the phone. What could I possibly say to him? I hadn’t meant to say that at all! I finally picked the phone up and he asked, “What did you say?” I mumbled “nothing.” He said, no, that isn’t true. He persuaded me to not be embarrassed and he said that he thought that was the truest kind of love there was; the kind where you accidentally say I love you.
We never dated, didn’t stay in touch, but I have never forgotten his words. What if, just what if, it were true? What if accidentally saying I love you to God was the truest kind of love? An unknown love finding its way to the surface, snuggled among good night kisses and prayers?