Faithful Living: The benefits of pillow talk

Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.

--Philip Gulley

When was the last time you gifted yourself with a new bedroom pillow?

During my childhood I recall using only one, feather-filled pillow. It rested my head every sleepover, road trip, and church camp I ever attended. I hauled that pillow around because it was the only one that didn’t give me a neck ache by morning.

In due time it moved to college with me. After a stint in the dorms it made its way onto my bed in a townhouse I shared with three roommates. Into that very pillow I buried my head the year my granddad and John Lennon both died.

It followed me into my marriage and our first home. It propped me up each time I nursed my children. And in 1989 it traveled 20 hours and 1,235 miles north to our new home in Western Washington.

After learning that bed mites and other naturally occurring pollutants gather in overused bedding, I ceremoniously tossed that pillow into the garbage.

Today, I find myself frequently drawn to the pillow aisle. I am never completely satisfied with my purchases and I think it’s because there is no bed on which I can test drive my options. I hold each contestant pillow to my ear and lay my head down ever so briefly, trying as I might to imagine the outcome of an all-nighter. Regular, queen or king? Natural fill or man made? Soft, medium or firm? Price. Fabric content.

This year I’ve decided that Christmas-themed pillow cases are a must, even though my kids are young adults. I want to quietly remind them, as they lay their heads down each night of their visit back home, that I love them beyond words and they can entrust their triumphs and tribulations with me whenever they desire to do so.

I have long contended that our most honest self-talk happens in the quiet of the night, as we lay in the dark to sort through the events of the day. And I don’t care what sleep aids you choose, if you haven’t opened your heart to matters of faith, at some point fear will draw you out of bed and away from that soft place to lay your head.

As I cut and measured, pinned and sewed the Christmas-themed pillow cases, I have prayed for each person who sleeps on them. I have imagined them laughing just a bit about my wacky drive to sew, but also in the quiet of the night to consider the love I offer. The prayers I utter. The hopes I cultivate on their behalf.

This Christmas, my hopes for those I love include peace. Healing. Joy. Energy. Safety. And growing faith. These hopes will become my prayers, often whispered in the middle of the night as I flip my pillow to the cold side and draw my covers up around my neck.

May God continue to cradle each of our heads and hearts as we face the days to come.

Reach Joan Bay Klope,

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