Here in the Dark -- Twilight’s Descent
It is here in the dark, in the waning hours of the night, long past the time when normal people—working people, family people—are resting, long past the moment when the eyes dry and the focus dims, it is here, in this moment, when the descent begins. This is where I lose, where I come undone, where my heart breaks and my mind searches for reasons, for wherefores and whys. There must be something larger than this, something directing this, something bigger than the one long cumulative failure that has become of my ceaseless struggle to stand. On my own.
Here in the Dark – The Waning Hours of the Night
It is here in the dark, in the waning hours of the night, long past the time when normal people have already said their prayers, that I begin mine. In this moment, the hand and the heart reach out, but the mind holds back in fear, in loss, in pride. God is there, He guides us, He keeps us. Like a floodgate, He holds us back until He determines we can move forward, and then only at His predetermined speed. A blessing, to be confined. A lesson, to become disgrace. A purpose, to struggle.
Job was blessed? In the end, yes. Was it a blessing to suffer? If so, then what was the reward at the end of his suffering? There was the blessing, the reward for suffering and not turning on his Savior. There in the dark, in the waning hours of night, Job cried out to God, and thought he wasn’t heard. To finally hear His voice, even in chastisement, was reward, blessing, proximity.
I do not hear His voice—none do, anymore, not since His gift, His Spirit, entered us—but I have His Book, His Word. I have His Spirit that speaks to me, but It uses my voice and my thoughts, and so I get confused. But here in the dark, in the waning hours of the night, long past the time when the body begins to feel numb, as if on a drug, when even the cat has taken to his bed, here, now, my restless mind is less convoluted, more open.
Here in the Dark – A Time for Questions
It is here in the dark, in the waning hours of the night, when I beg for clarity but receive purpose, when I plead for understanding but am given resolve, when I long for completion but find only patience.
Pain is a wave; struggle a tide. In the reflection on the water, space and time are altered, and the temporary seems both permanent and vitally important. The face looking back at me is never right, it’s always shifted here or there. The image is undeniably me, but it’s different. I’m different. I’m not what looks back at me, and yet it must be that I am. I claim to deny myself, but cling to an imagined reality that is wholly encompassed by myself, my being, my perception. To deny the self is to seek God, yes, of course. But how to give up the perception when it seems to be all I have that is real?
It is here in the dark, in the waning hours of the night, when security guards fight sleep, when the night shift workers contemplate the fluorescent lights in the long empty hallway, when the children stumble to the bathroom, here is where barriers loosen, just for a moment, and the world beneath our perceptions appears. It is here, in the dark, just behind what our eyes see, what our bodies feel, and what our mind claims control over.
Here in the Dark – A Time for God
It is here in the dark, in the waning hours of the night, when the mind wanders through locked doors, when the heart allows the scars to bleed, when the body begins to heal. Here, in the dark, is where I am truly myself, and not a perception or a disguise. And here is where God is, where He has been waiting for me, where I can finally feel Him, simultaneously right next to me, touching me, and so very far away I can’t see His face.
It is here in the dark, when I’m too tired not to find God, that He finds me.