Somewhere out there,
Beneath the pale moonlight,
Someone’s thinking of me,
And loving me tonight.
– “Somewhere Out There,” from An American Tail, 1987.
“Mummy,” said the little boy as he looked up into vast night sky, “Where do all the stars come from?”
His mother looked down at him and smiled, “Well, many people have said many things about that. But I can tell you for sure that God made them and put them up in the sky for you and I to enjoy. See, aren’t they beautiful?”
“Yeah. There sure are a lot of them, aren’t there? Why did God make so many stars?” the little boy enquired.
“Well, I think it’s because God is our Father and loves us very much. So, He everything He makes is good and beautiful because comes out of His love. That’s why the moon is so big and the stars are plentiful,” replied his mother.
“You mean there are so many stars because God wants to show us how much He loves us?” said the little boy.
“Yes, my darling boy,” said his mother, tenderly stroking his hair.
“And God is our Father?” asked the little boy, looking up to his mother.
“Yes,” she answered.
“Then…” His voice trailed off. His mother looked down at him, curious to see why he stopped midway through his sentence. The little boy’s countenance had changed. He tightened his quivering lips. His mother could see a torrent of emotions in his eyes, as he struggled to find words.
His mother knew what was going through her little boy’s mind – mothers always instinctively know what their children are feeling. She quietly wiped away the tear that fell from her eye. Her heart was breaking over her little boy as she reached her arm around him and drew him closer to herself. She kissed her son affectionately, wishing how she could kiss all his hurt away. If only it were that easy.
Their family had broken apart. All that remains of their once-happy home are memories and photographs. And tears… there are always tears, at least for now.
“Mummy…” her darling little boy quivers, “If God loves us, why didn’t God make daddy stay with us? Why didn’t God make daddy want to stay in our family? Why did daddy go away? Did daddy stop loving you and me?”
The little boy continued, “How come my other friends can have their daddies stay with them? In Sunday School, teacher taught us how to make a Father’s Day card but I don’t who to give mine to. Then in school, my friend always has her daddy to pick her up after school. Our neighbor’s daddy always plays football with him in the evening.” He paused and took a breath… his eyes were like two bottomless pools beginning to overflow. He sniffled a little and then whispered, “Mummy, I wish God made daddy stay with us and not go away. I wish daddy was still my daddy. Doesn’t God love me?”
This is what it sounds like when doves cry.
His mother looked into her little boy’s face. She stroked his face with her hand and then she said, “Mummy doesn’t know, my love. But Mummy knows these few things…”
“Mummy knows that God loves us so much that He let us do whatever we wanted. This is called free-will. Sometimes, people use it to do good things like sharing their toys, helping others with their work or loving people. Some people use it to do bad things, like say bad things or hurt people’s feelings.”
“However, at the end of the day, we are all going to have to tell God what we have done and said. Then, God is going to tell us whether we’ve been bad or good, and God will tell us whether we are going to spend forever with God or not.”
“Daddy used his free-will to make his own choice. One day, he will have to tell God about all that he has done and said. Daddy will have to answer all of God’s questions before God decides where daddy is going to spend forever.”
“But you know… you also will have to decide what you’re going to do with your free-will. You can choose to follow what God asks you to do, or you can choose to disobey God. It’s not always easy to follow what God wants, but you will discover that it is for your own good. You know why? Because God loves you very, very much and He wants the best for you.”
The little boy turned and looked into his mother’s face. His forlorn eyes betrayed a wisdom that was beyond his years. How much my little boy has grown in such a short time, contemplated his mother, a little sadly.
The little boy shifted to move a little closer to his mother, “Mummy, now that daddy has left us, does that mean I don’t have a daddy?”
The question pierced his mother’s heart. There are so many ways to answer, but none seemed right. She wished she could hug away all his hurts and kiss away all his questions. His mother let out a sigh and smiled softly.
“You will always have a Daddy who loves you,” she replied. “A Daddy who loves you so much, that He painted the night sky with so many stars for you. You have a Daddy who made the whole world so beautifully for you. You have a Daddy that loved you so much that He died on the Cross for you. Remember what Mummy said? God is our Father – our Daddy who loves us very much and who will never, ever leave us.”
The night sky lay as an open canvas before them. The Father’s passionate love was emblazoned on every twinkling star, whispered in every quiet breeze and glowed in the pale moonlight. The little boy’s mother cuddled her dearest child in her arms as he slowly began to fall asleep. His eyelids drooped heavily over his eyes though he tried to fight it.
With tears welling in her eyes and her heart bursting with a love only mothers are capable of, she hugged her little boy tightly. Her voice flooded with all her affection for the life she had borne as she whispered into his ear, “And one thing mummy certainly knows, and also wants you to know for certain: Mummy, will always, always love you.”
– Especially for S, N and other children who had to grow up before their time. –
Copyright © Wong Giok Leigh, 11 July 2003. All Rights Reserved.