May 22, 2024

Shameless audacity

I prop the screaming beauty on the crook of my arm once again to make him more comfortable. I’m feeling the muscles on my neck, or rather, the muscles on my neck are speaking to me in a language I have come to be recently very fluent in— pain.

As I gently shove the baby up my arm again, I wonder, “When did he get this heavy? He weighed less than a spring chicken three weeks ago!”

He is now looking a little more comfortable, no longer whimpering, and is that a little smile I see? His little eyelids are beginning to buckle under the weight of sleep. My heart races with anticipation. Is this it? Is he now going to fall asleep and give my breaking back and Xhosa-speaking neck a minute of rest?

Before I soak in the angelic smile, I feel the telltale wiggle and arm flare that alert me to the imminent beginning of a screaming sequel.

I’m up to my eyeballs with fatigue, my back is beginning to sound like a well-lit bonfire and my emotions are an active volcano.  

I cradle, swing, sway, pat, shush and sing all the hymns I remember off-head until he starts to doze off again. As the space between his eyelids gets smaller, I whisper a prayer, “Lord, please make him sleep.”

In between more swaying and shushing, I think about that prayer. I’m suddenly aware of the silliness of it all. It feels flimsy, even underwhelming to be asking the Lord of Hosts to help with my baby’s little colic problem.

Surely, there must be a thousand things the King of kings would rather be doing. There are a couple of wars in the world and a global economic crisis. There’s flooding in Libya and drought in drought in Somalia that would benefit from His attention. Hospitals are bursting at the seams with resistant bacteria and this would be a great time for the world to get a cure for cancer.

Would He have time for my ‘little issues’ in the face of all that is going on in the world?

I felt like I was supposed to make more important and serious prayers, you know, like for something significant and world-changing. For a minute, I felt so small, so unseen, so insignificant.

Later, I take a dawdle through St. Luke when I see it.

“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need” (Luke 11:8, NIV)

Shameless Audacity.

How does the Lord expect me to pray? With shameless audacity. That means I can come to Him with ALL my requests, as often as I want, in faith that He’s listening to me and He’s going to help me.


That has been the backdrop of my life, especially my life as a mother struggling to walk the tightrope of raising three kids and finding my purpose beyond the diapers. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I have whispered under my breath, “Lord, help me.”

And He always has. Sometimes he calms the sea, other times, he strengthens my arms for me to row harder against the currents.

A preacher who used to come to our high school CU taught us a song:

Oh, He never would say,

I’m too busy today,

Every tear, every care,

He has promised He will share,

And although He’s the Lord, of all glory,

Yet He’s only a prayer away.

You may be feeling like a little insignificant dot in a massive pointillism piece of art, but you were important enough for the Lord of all the Earth to come down and die a shameful death for you to have eternal life.

He truly expects you to go to Him with shameless audacity, because, what can’t He do?

Oh, the baby slept soundly that day.

No, the Lord is not a fairy godmother to sprinkle sleep dust on colicky babies, but He cares.

Mercy Kambura

Mercy Kambura is a communication specialist, creative writer and story teller at

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One thought on “Shameless audacity

  1. Thank you for voicing the anxious thoughts of many mothers with little ones. Me included. I have prayed for my son to sleep through the night till I stopped and figured he must have more important problems to solve 🤣. I am encouraged.

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