Of course, the actual battle cry of hobbits was “The Shire!” This cry, like “pajamas,” does not summon visions of military or urban grandeur. The memory of fat cabbages in well-tended gardens and fat hobbits in cozy holes are what stiffened the spine of hobbits about to fight. Hobbits fought not for glory or even adventure, but for the simple goodness of life in the Shire. Hobbits fought for coziness and second breakfasts, so I am sure “Pajamas!” is a fitting hobbit battle cry.
When I scoop up my grandson Ari in his flannel Batman pajamas, I hold in my arms all that I fight for in the battle against sin and spiritual darkness. As a battle cry, “Pajamas!” declares the goodness of the order and peace that gives us time for goodnight kisses, pajamas, and being “tucked in”.
It is a cry against the selfishness, sinfulness, and strife that set mothers and fathers against each other. It is a cry against the enemy who seeks to divide and devour families. It is a cry against the drug addiction and depression that fills the night’s streets with people who should be in their pajamas.
“Pajamas!” is also a cry for peace and justice. Many years ago Teckla and I hiked into Chel, a beautiful Ixil village in the mountains of Guatemala. We were with a church group there to build a small pharmacy where medicines could be safely stored and distributed. When we awoke, we discovered the little village square was filled with 20 to 30 people who had fled a guerilla attack on their village about a mile up the river. They had fled with nothing except the clothes on their backs. I will never forget a little girl in shorts and tank-top holding a turkey she carried through the night. The believers in Chel, who themselves were desperately poor, handed out corn meal and clothes to these refugees. Guatemala was war-torn in the eighties and there was no time for pajamas.
“Pajamas!” is a cry for kids to grow up without fear or trauma— to grow up knowing Mom and Dad will always be there to keep them safe. It is cry against all the war and strife that displaces people and forces them to flee in the middle of the night. It is a cry for the refugee to have a home. Too many people sleep afraid—ready to run from violence or ethnic cleansing.
The peace and security of a child’s pajamas days pass all too soon. But while they last such days are one of the greatest gifts we can give children. It is the experience of being treasured, tucked-in, blessed, loved, and perfectly safe. It is an imperfect foreshadowing of a future homecoming when we will enter the safety of our heavenly Father’s presence. Our pajamas days prophesy of that future day when the Prince of Peace will reign—when all is right and all is safe.
We must fight the battle in our own families and neighborhoods. Our weapons are spiritual but powerful: goodnight hugs and kisses, Christmas lights, prayers at bedtime, forgiveness for the sinner, healing for the broken, hope for despairing, and super-hero pajamas to take away the evening chill. And Jesus—Emmanuel, God with us.