He Hangs the Moon
by Elizabeth Foss
The Arlington Catholic Herald January 29 - February 4, 2009
Reprinted with permission
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A few months ago, Mary Beth read Karoline a story about the moon. Karoline, who is 2, was enchanted. Not long after the covers of the book closed, she declared, "I want the moon." She was very matter of fact and saw absolutely nothing exceptional about this desire to possess the moon.
Every night, on his way home, my husband calls to see if we need anything. He'll stop at the store and pick up a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk or ... the moon? Karoline answered the phone when he called that evening.
"Ask Mommy if we need anything," Mike said. Without hesitation, Karoline replied, "The moon. I want the moon." "Ok. One moon. I'll bring it home."
She handed me the phone, rather satisfied with herself. Perhaps, as you read this you are thinking that Karoline is spoiled, that she demands things and she gets what she demands. You would be correct - to a point. Karoline is only 2.
For the last two years, most of her wants have been her needs. She wants to be warm, to be fed, to be held, to be comforted. And she's asked for these things in the most sophisticated way she knows. At first, she cried. And we answered. Then she gestured and moved into a more sophisticated sign language. And we answered.
Finally, she started talking. We still answered. And as she became aware of the world around her, she began to want things that weren't necessarily needs. Things like the moon. That brings us to the evening when Mike brought Karoline the moon.
He walked through the door that night and she asked if he had the moon. "Oh, no, I don't have it. It's too big to bring inside. I left it outside for you. Go see."
She went expectantly outside with her big brother and rushed inside a few minutes later to report that Daddy did, indeed, bring her the moon. Of course he did. This was the Daddy who had provided everything she needed and even some of her most extravagant wants since the day she was born. Of course he'd bring her the moon.
Now, almost every night, whether he is in town or he is traveling, Karoline asks Mike for her moon, and every time she asks, he tells her that her moon is in the sky, right where he left it for her. She goes outside to confirm, taking comfort and finding joy in the fact that Daddy put the moon in the sky just for her. It's a sweet ritual and an early lesson to Providence, I think.
God knows our every need even before we ask. And He provides for all we need. Sometimes, He provides even more than we would have dared to ask. But He wants us to ask. He tells us to ask. Furthermore, He tells us to come to Him as a child does. I have seen a child approach her father. She does not do it with trepidation. She does it with the full confidence that he will hear and answer her. After all, there is nothing you can't receive from the one who hung the moon.
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