On being childlike

After I mentioned in my column in last Sunday’s Greater Pittston Progress that the unexpected death of Dianne Tigue, who passed away peacefully in her sleep in August, has me saying the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer each night before bed, several people told me they were unfamiliar with the prayer.
It’s a simple prayer, actually, taught to me when I was just a little child. It’s beauty actually lies in its childlike simplicity.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I awake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Dianne’s death not only reminded me of the fragility of life but also of Christ’s message to remain childlike in our beliefs. Children believe without question. Unfortunately, as we grow older and presumably smarter, we often become nothing but questions.
This little prayer reminds me to be childlike. And saying it helps me to sleep like a baby.
The column prompted a reader, Janice (Mugford) Holtz, to write me a note about a morning prayer her mom taught her. She said she has it and the evening prayer hanging on her bedroom wall, embroidered for her by her mother more than 70 years ago.
Now I wake to see the light,
’tis God has kept me through the night,
Now I lift my voice to pray
That God will keep me through the day.

I love the innocence of this prayer, and of the morning prayer I was taught by my mom. It’s called “The Morning Offering.”
My God I offer thee this day,
All I do and think and say
Uniting it with what was done
On earth by Jesus Christ, His Son.

I hope I never grow so sophisticated that I fail to see the beauty in these simple words.

Ed Ackerman