It is in the dark, in the night, when things get quiet that I can settle down enough to feel, to process my day. It is in the dark, in the night, when I really seek out the quiet voice of God. I sit on the plastic chair out on the porch, feeling the molded arms wrap up meeting my arms, as they come to rest on the cool surface. I can feel the heat of the day held in the pavement, stepping on concrete solidity. Moving another chair to face me, I stretch out, put my feet in that perfect make-shift ottoman and let my back relax. I feel that part in my lower ribs that holds the hurt and pressure, that spot in the lower back that holds the stress. I let out a deep breath and tell them to relax, with limited success. As I tilt my head back to look at the stars through the smattering of leaves in my view, I can feel my shoulder muscles starting to ease into the sigh. It is in the dark that I can see the moon, the stars, the shine of the light of the planets. It is in the dark that the distractions subside. The light of the sun, reflecting onto the moon brings out shapes, but not the details of the visual world around me. Soon, I find myself closing my eyes for a while to listen. It is through my heeding of nightly noises that the world around me comes alive. The reedy sound of the crickets, playing their symphonic soprano score, strikes a balance with the whisper of the wind through the leaves and branches. The hollow sound of an owl calling bounces, sound waves moving through thousands of minute obstacles to reach me. Another owl answers from a different location and they converse.
It is in the dark, when I am stuck in the thorn bush, and can’t see even the moon to guide my way back to a safe path – that I listen for a familiar voice. It is in the dark that the distractions subside, and I stop to feel warmth, to notice the reflection of a moonbeam. It is in the dark, when the world around me is closing in, and I just don’t know which way to turn – that is when my ears become most attuned to the voice that they are listening for. The light of the day is beautiful, the warmth of the sun can bring such healing. Yet, the cyclical and natural foil comes again – striking it’s counter character in our daily drama. On my path, my way has grown dark at times. Where did the light go? I need it’s heat, I need it’s guiding protection. But, sitting down mid- lane, I realize that I can hear so much better without the diversions around me. And in the dark, I feel a different heat, much more subtle and yet as vibrant as the noon day sun. I realize that I’m not sitting alone. It is the Son who sits with me. And there we can talk. And when the light returns to the sky, I will hear much better – with clearer ears. For a while anyway. For I am human and my distractions will return until they are a cacophony in my head. And then, again, I will be taken to the sunset and the night so that I might learn to listen in a different way. I do not always seek out these lessons, but I do seek out the way that they will be used for good, for bringing light.