Patricia Batten
Patricia Batten




Monsters in the Bed

A Mom's Meditation on Psalm 4:8



I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”


Mom got down on her knees

and she started to talk.

She prayed and confessed

that she might need a lock.


From what?  We three wondered.

It must have been bad

because mom looked stressed out;

she was exhausted and mad.


We boys kept her company

while dad was away;

We snuggled her all night

and we helped her all day.


What could be wrong?

We were stuck to her like glue.

We hadn’t noticed any trouble.

Not even a clue.


We eavesdropped with skill

And we heard her pray,

“There are monsters in the bed

and they won’t go away.”


This was just like our mom

to keep this from us.

She wanted to protect us

and not make a fuss.


“There are monsters in the bed.

One tore off my sock.

There are monsters in the bed.

One kicked over the clock.”


We thought up a plan

to stay up all night.

We’d protect our mom

from the fierce monster fright.


When eight o’clock struck

we all jumped in her bed.

We yanked up her covers

and pulled them over our heads.


We dragged in our stuffies;

our army guys too.

We built up her pillows

and tied them with a lace from her shoe.


Mom read us a story,

buried beneath a stuffed bear;

and a verse from the bible

That said, ‘do not swear.’


We’d stake out her room

And guard it with might.

We’d protect our dear mom

and stay up all night.


The little one’s eyes

darted around the bedroom.

He asked mom a question

about the monsters that loom.


“These monsters in the bed,

just what do they do?

These monsters in the bed,

do they really scare you?”


Her face turned all white.

It was white as a sheet.

“These monsters will kick you

with freezing cold feet!”


“They’ll tear off your covers

as you’re trying to sleep;

they’ll give you a shove

and they won’t make a peep.”


“They’ll force you to rise

when you’re in a deep slumber.

They’ll demand to be watered.

To the kitchen you’ll lumber.”


“But the most frightening part

is the way that they glare.

While you’re asleep

they’ll watch you and stare.”


“They’ll smack you with pillows

and elbow your back.

They’ll mess up your sheets.

It’s an all-out attack.”


“They’ll get close to your face

and seeping into your pores,

you’ll feel their hot breath.

You’ll want to run out the door.”


“There are monsters in the bed

You’d better get out!

These monsters are real

Up to no good, no doubt.”


We three couldn’t take it.

We burst out of the room.

We darted downstairs,

away from sure doom!


Then we heard the door rattle.

The knob jiggled and turned.

Daddy was home.

We told him all that we learned…


about monsters in the bed

and how brave our mom was

to sleep there without us--

it’s what a good mom does.


“But it’s not safe for you, dad.

Those monsters are real.

You’ll sleep with us tonight!”

Who could pass up that deal?









What Jesus Says to Parents


I’ve been studying the gospels, trying to see what Jesus said (and says) to parents.  In most cases, moms and dads approach Jesus is deep distress.  A child is sick, demon-possessed or dying.  Parents are at their wits’ end.  In a couple of instances, a mother approaches Jesus hoping for a favor—to help the kids gain a position or to save the neighbors from an embarrassing situation.  In one case, a grieving mother, who is also a widow, never asks for Jesus’ healing hand.  But He extends it anyway. 


I’m talking about Luke 7:11-17, ‘Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son.’  When you read the gospels, you see that Jesus raises three people from the dead:  The widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17); Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:40-56; Mark 5:21-43) and Lazarus (John 11:38-44).  Jesus raises two kids--a boy and a girl--and a good friend.  Of the three people that Jesus raised from the dead, two were children!


Jesus’ heart for children and parents is surprising.  It’s overwhelming.   


But in the case of Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus, Jesus is summoned for help because the little girl is dying and Lazarus is dying.  They are not dead yet.  The widow’s son, on the other hand, is already dead.  He is being carried outside of the village to be buried.  A crowd of mourners surrounds the coffin. The wails of grief sound the alarm of deep sadness.  The village is made aware that someone is dead. 


We don’t know if this teenaged boy had been sick or involved in some kind of accident.  Whatever the case, his life has been cut drastically short. 


How could Jesus be of any assistance in this instance?  The boy is gone.  Maybe that’s why we never hear of the widow calling for Jesus’ help.  It’s too late


Have you ever felt like it was too late when it came to your son or daughter?  It was beyond repair?  The damage had been done?  So you stop calling out for Jesus.  It’s too late. 


But what I love about this story is that even though the widow says nothing, Jesus hears her broken heart.  She utters not a single coherent word, but her sobbing reaches Jesus.  And he comes.  He comes


So parents and grandparents, aunts & uncles…don’t stop calling out to Jesus.  If the grief or the stress is so great that you can’t even speak—take comfort in knowing that he hears the cries of your heart.  And he comes.  He comes


“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) 


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