Pinky Winky

He will not let your foot slip –

he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

 

The Lord watches over you –

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

 

The Lord will keep you from all harm –

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

 

Psalm 121: 3-8

 

Remember those cute pillow dolls (stuffed dolls, as they are referred to now) a lot of us five or six-year-old kids got for Christmas or for our birthday sometime in the ‘70s? Okay, let me just clarify that I am 38 years old so I’m speaking mostly to those my age.

I remember vividly that my older sister got a Little Red Riding Hood doll – yes, the one that got lost in the forest and almost got eaten by a wolf. It had an almost round face (most of those dolls had that “almost round face”), a bright red hooded coat, and a book on its chest made from the same fabric. What really fascinated me at that age, and caused a little bit of envy, was that the “book” on its chest had around five fabric pages which we could actually flip through!

Each page had one popular nursery rhyme printed on it and some illustrations as well. My sister and I had a lot of fun with Miss Riding Hood and we learned and memorized our first few nursery rhymes from her very red and ample bosom. And yes, this is a very wholesome, if not literal, description.

I, on the other hand, got a Pinky Winky doll. I guess from the name alone you would surmise that it was a pink doll – and it was. It also had the same almost round face as Miss Riding Hood’s, but instead of a book, it wore a robe that simply overlapped. And instead of nursery rhymes, it contained two short prayers.

Now you need to understand that for a very impressionable five or six-year-old, the more “accessories” a toy had, the “better” it was. My Pinky WInky did not have a book with pages I could flip nor did it have any fun nursery rhymes. Needless to say, I felt that I got the raw end of the deal and didn’t exactly relish memorizing prayers. One of the prayers went this way:

Angel of God, my guardian dear

To whom God’s love commits me here

Ever this day, be at my side

To light and guard

To rule and guide

Amen.

The other prayer is one that many parents teach their kids to this day.

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord, my soul to keep

And if I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord, my soul to take.

Our dear mom faithfully prayed these prayers with me and my sister before we went to bed each night. In the course of praying them daily, we eventually memorized them. Bedtime rituals were not complete without saying these prayers as we knelt by our beds, with our tiny hands clasped tightly, our heads bowed and our eyes shut.

Those prayers became a source of comfort to us and brought us peace and many sweet dreams in our sleep. I distinctly remember reading the prayers over and over even after praying them. I somehow found solace in reciting them and looking at the drawings that accompanied them – drawings of angels and a child in bed by an open window, with the moon and stars shining through. And eventually, I learned to cherish my Pinky Winky and lovingly tucked her in bed with me every night.

Did God answer those prayers? I believe He did! And even now as I remember these things, I know that God has, indeed, guided and guarded me (my sister and our parents, too) all these years. Our Lord has been watching over us and has promised to always keep us in His care. And His answer to our childhood prayers wields power that transcends time! Yes, God’s answer to our prayers then is as relevant and powerful today as it was when He first gave it.

Both our parents have since gone to heaven and I know that their spirits are kept safe in God’s hands. My sister and I have also accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior when we were still in our teens. Our futures are secure despite the physical circumstances that may say otherwise, and our lives now are deeply hinged within the Master’s framework.

If I should die before I wake, I know the Lord, my soul will take.

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