Skip to content

While You Were Sleeping

While you were sleeping,

I turned the planet in the palm of My hand

To spin you into the sunrise.


While you were sleeping,

I did many things you don’t think I can do:

I managed the whole universe without your help,

I protected you without your fear,

I provided for you without your anxiety,

And I loved you just as much as ever

Without you doing a thing.


While you were sleeping,

It was so quiet.

(You are almost never quiet

When you are not sleeping!)

So I filled the silence with song.

I sang over you My joy in loving you

While you were sleeping.


I got a lot done

While you were sleeping.

I walked through the quiet house

And I cleaned up the messes you’d made

And fixed the rips in your clothes

And I healed the wounds you had made

In the people you loved.


Then I got out the new day

And I set it up for you.

I found the wrapper on it was covered

With your grubby, disobedient fingerprints

And knew you had been trying to get into it

While it was still “tomorrow.”

But when I had unwrapped it,

It was untouched,

Because you can never, never

Get into a day before I give it to you,

No matter how hard you try.


So I laid that new day out for you

And then I whipped up a batch

Of New Mercy for a new morning

And I put strawberries in it.


And then I laid out and marked off the trials of the day

And all of those were used, not new,

Because I never let you go through anything

Unless I’ve been through it Myself first.


I set up a way of escape

Next to every temptation

And I walked through the whole thing

To make sure it would teach you

Only, exactly what I wanted to teach you

When I walked through it again with you.


While you were sleeping,

I wasn’t.


I leaned over you.

I ran My fingers through your hair

And I numbered it all again.

Your eyes were covered with the lids I made for you

And I looked long at those two little balls that you trust

So much more than you trust Me.

But yours were shut,

And Mine were open

While you were sleeping.


While you were sleeping,

I waited for you,

And I watched for you,

And I watched over you

With more patience than you’ll ever know

Because I know you are a dust-baby

And I understand that you get tired

Because I made you that way

When I first named “day” and “night”

And called it good

And I remember.


While you were sleeping,

I sustained you.

I kept your heart beating

And your lungs filling

And I held all your atoms together

In the deep recesses of you

That I have seen and you have not.


I took all the troubles that had loomed so large

Last night when you were so tired

And I shrunk them back down to size again

While you were sleeping.


And while you were sleeping

I lay down beside you,

Wrapped my arms around you,

And snuggled you into My chest

Because I am so gentle

That I can do that without waking you up,

Because I am so wise

That I could tell you were about to wake up,

And because I am so loving

That I know that is your favorite way to wake up!


And I unbuttoned My heart towards you

And I let all My joy come flooding out

And splash all over you,

My joy that delights in the moment

Your eyes open and see Me again

And you throw your arms around My neck

And kiss My face and squeal,

“Good morning, Papa!”


And so you see I am ready

If after that you should ask Me what I did

While you were sleeping.

Published inPoetry

Comments are closed.