There’s something about evening, after the sun says good-bye to the
day, that opens a new room for the soul to enter and explore. In a
darkened room, all pretense falls away:especially in a cold winter
with a fire crackling in the fireplace–or under a night sky.
In a darkened room it doesn’t matter if our hair looks good, or our
clothes are pressed, or if we forgot to brush our teeth. No one can
see. Besides, the darkness becomes stronger than any of these
concerns–a gentle robing for our truest selves.
In the kindness of the dark, or dusk, we need not focus on our flaws,
our extra weight, our aging, our failures. Instead, there is a sense
in which our most authentic selves come out. Some say that who we
are in the dark is who we really are.
How very good, then, that the God of light, who pierces the darkness
and sees our truest selves, will not be shocked! For by His own
confession, he loves us wildly, without condition, everlastingly. In
the dark, we come to Him more easily, without shame or sham. Not
propped up or puffed up. We let down our hair, and sense a call to
wipe his feet.
In the heart of darkness, somehow, our souls are set free. It is a
place of release. Pent-up tears of joy or pain can flow: raw and
real. We have no expectations to meet. Breathing comes more
easily–deeper. Dreams surface–longings show up. Buried wishes
come out to play. All these, and more, are the stuff we’re made of
and the stuff that seems to surface when we slow down and let it.
So…tonight can you choose to do just that? Can you turn on some
music, or opt for no music at all? Can you light a fire in the
fireplace or candles on a table? Open the curtains and let the moon
be your shadowmaker as it waltzes into the room. The shadows are a
whole new world, and they speak.
Can you step out into your yard or sit on your steps and listen to
crickets, frogs, or owls? Do you have lightening bugs? Can you be
still long enough to seem them scatter a blanket of diamonds in the
air? Listen for the sounds of children or animals, as they prepare
for night. Listen, for there are songs in the night.
Let your spirit rest, your head clear. Hear the voice of God against
your heart. Come home to yourself, and to your God. Receive this
time of quietness and joy. Make the night your own. Let prayer
surface. And may your rest be sweet.