Monday, March 14, 2011

Down Here in the Dark

  Early morning, I mean really early, when the darkness has set in so thick you can almost feel it, Molly, my 4 year old Border Collie whined enough to wake me up to let her out.  This particular morning the moon wasn't very bright and it was that "darkest hour before dawn".  Even with the porch light shining,  I couldn't make out her figure up against the thick cloak of night.    Normally, I stand inside the storm dorm and watch for her, but this morning was different.  I wanted to stand outside and breathe the cool fall air.
  We had just returned from a long drive to Kentucky where I went to honor the life of a life long best friend. 
A few hours into our trip, still numb from the news that she was gone, I received a frantic phone call from my daughter telling me that our son had fallen in my mom's bathroom and had just had another grandmal seizure.  Driving, hours from home, I was helpless.  Knowing that my turning around would be of no help and that he would sleep off the effects of the seizure, we ventured on.  Breathless. 
  These were the emotions and memories engulfing me that early morning.  I had been going through the motions of life, almost speechless for about a week since we had been home, but somehow in the coolness of this dark morning everything was bubbling to the surface. 
  Living in the country it's normally dark and peaceful in the night, but this darkness didn't even allow me to see the tree line, or make out the drive way.  I began to quietly pray and all I could get out were a few pitiful words: "God, I feel like this is my life right now, do you even know...I know you know, but it doesn't feel like anything but the dark..."
  Suddenly, as if someone reached down and tipped my chin with their hand, I looked up. 
There blazing in the sky like fireworks were the most brilliant stars I had seen in a very long time.  Light, it was a sky full of light.  Verses I had put to memory began to wash over my mind, "He has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light", "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet", "I am the light of the world".  Light...I just meditated on light.  When David wrote the Psalms and the "lamp unto my feet and light unto my path" was inspired, David would have experienced many dark nights on the hills watching sheep.  The lights he would have carried would have only lit the path right in front of his feet.  This was all he needed for one step at a time.  This is all we need, faith in the shepherd for one step at a time.
  Standing there in the dark, I felt the distance between myself and the stars, millions of miles away, I remembered how the book of Genesis says, "and He made the stars also", almost as if they were just the sprinkles he threw out with his fingertips.  Those same finger tips are guiding us daily, I couldn't help but to begin a new song in my heart. Realizing that the brightness of the light can be seen best in such darkness, I stood looking up, just one among countless others on the earth.  I was reminded by that still small voice that even in the darkest of moments, as the Psalmist said, "I cried unto the Lord and he heard me."  Thank you God for hearing even me.

Sit Still and Be Quiet!

Two things children are known for being unable to do: wait patiently and be silent.   Those two things are nearly impossible for childr...