“Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.”
— Frederick Buechner
Come to me, night,
Let the hours take flight,
And with the passage of dreams,
Push forth hope so the day gleams.
FEAR of the night many people battle with. When I travelled away for business I would often leave a light on, just because the surrounds were so unfamiliar at night in a strange room. Night time is too often associated with darkness, when, in the darkness, there is healing.
I have always subscribed to the beauty outlined in Psalm 30:5. There may be tears during the night, but, as we pour ourselves out, by morning there is a peace available that transcends our understanding. No matter what we are presently afflicted with we can know a resplendent reality in the morning having traversed the night.
The dark of night has an outrageous healing splendour about it. What appears as scary manifests as a deep unknown. We are too fearful of the unknown. Many of the things of God are unknown and invisible, and we may know them only through faith. Sight is next to useless in God’s economy.
So, though the day looks safe and inviting, day is an apparition promising far too much as we trust our sight foolishly. But with the rest of night comes hope and potential for the morrow. With the rest of sleep we have several hours of respite.
In a good world rest always comes before exertion. This is why we should choose night-time as a welcome intruder of healing even though it threatens with scary darkness. When we believe that the good Lord provided night for rest, we can also believe that the night fuels the day with hope.
Try the following prescription if there is trouble at night:
By night, come, and cease thinking,
and give wakefulness to God. Surrender it.
Eyes closed. Empty mind. Safe in heart.
By night, enter, the passage another world,
both safe and restful in tranquility.
At night thoughts of the day shrivel with purpose to become insignificant enough that we see all of life in better perspective. It’s not so bad.
If we believe in healing power of the Spirit of God we might also believe that God does his best work of healing during the night. That is my experience. So many castigating days have ended in peace enough to reflect, and pour out my libation, that when the day came eventually there was hope and good portions of it to springboard into the day.
Consider the night time of healing, despite the awkward invisibility of darkness. God does good work in the dark, and what needs to be healed will be healed all right. When we surrender peacefully the night, it fuels the day with hope.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.