The sun illuminates the radiant fall leaves outside the window of the cabin as Rich hunches over the CD player. “I unearthed some old CDs when I did my big clean-up at home a few weeks ago,” he says. Strategically placing himself between me and the disks he loads one into the machine. I’m sure it is some funky old tunes of his. Until the music begins.
Soft strains of a guitar prelude capture my attention and tickle my memory. A sweet youthful voice picks up the melody, adding words, lovely yet confident. Within moments the music embraces my heart. And then squeezes.
“Is that… Karen?” Rich nods.
“Wait, she wrote this, didn’t she?”
A glance at the CD cover, now visible, confirms it. “A Little Girl’s Prayer,” Song written by Karen Hoeg.
Standing spellbound, I let the song flood my entire being. Captivated by each note, entranced by every word, savoring the memories. Tears slipping silently down my cheeks. I dare not move until it ends. And then we play it again.
This was the music of our daughter, at age 19. Not your typical teenage music. It was a testimony to her years as a baby and growing into a little girl, each verse ending with her parents reciting her bedtime prayers. Our baby, our little girl, our nightly ritual. She wrote it for a music class in her senior year of high school. By the time she recorded it she was about to leave for college. Yet the bond continued to hold. As she put it, “My little life has grown up strong. Still I ask would you pray with me – your little girl’s prayer.”
How could I have forgotten this? And yet, recovering it makes it all the sweeter.
Rich hands me the CD case. “Get ready to cry again.”
Opening the lid, I read the note in Karen’s neat writing. An inscription with a Bible verse and a heartfelt thank you for our parenting. Then I notice the words on the CD. “For my parents.” It means more today than ever. I reach for the Kleenex again.
This little girl is now a mommy herself. She tucks in her own four kids every night. Presses their hands between hers as she prays with them, the same words we recited with her. A little girl’s prayer.
She was their baby, their little girl
Too little to speak, or walk on her own
This little life, they took in their arms,
And every night would say to her…
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
Thy love go with me, through the night,
And bless me with the morning light.
As time went on, their little girl grew
They watched her first steps, and heard her first word
They watched her learn, to laugh and play
At the end of the day, they’d still say…
I am their baby, their little girl
I’m learning to speak and walk on my own
My little life has grown up strong
Still I ask, would you pray with me – your little girl’s prayer?
And bless me with…
Bless me with the morning light.