Morning is breaking.
I am ready for its arrival. The night’s pause has been a restless one for me. And while I’m not ready for the noise of a new day, I’m ready for the security of its light.
The quiet and dark of night often startles me. I hear things in the night that I don’t hear during the day. Bumps and creaks… fragile sounds that force my notice—force my trust. I cannot always determine the source of those sounds. My imagination tries its hand at identification, but it is not reliable.
Imagination is tricky business. Imagination creates. Imagination births. Imagination cultivates the seeds of my thoughts, and therein lies the rub. What my mind thinks is what my imagination grows.
I cannot help but think in the restless ache of a long night’s retreat. When sleep eludes me, thoughts invade me. When thoughts invade me, sleep eludes me. It’s an unforgiving cycle of give and take that sometimes depletes me for a next day’s living … sometimes energizes me for the same. My night’s imagination has served me in both directions.
Honestly, I’d rather be sleeping, but most nights I don’t. Instead, I grapple with this restless ache on a regular basis, trying to decide what to do with the time that exists between the darkness and the dawn.
Between the darkness and the dawn—a good soil for a good growing … a faith’s growing. A bridge between that which cannot be seen and that which is readily visible. That which is imagined and that which is reality. That which is shrouded in darkness and that which is unveiled in daylight. That which is secret and that which is revealed.
A night’s ending and a day’s beginning is a good edge to stand on if one is longing for faith’s interpretation. Faith teeters between these two extremes.
Faith accepts the mystery of the night while anxiously stepping toward the daylight.
Faith struggles with the unseen noises of the night, pondering their authorship and authenticity.
Faith looks intently into the darkness rather than retreating behind closed eyes.
Faith writes new words, new chapters in the darkness because the night insulates and isolates the “pen” from competing, daytime distractions.
Faith walks through the night because faith is certain about the morning.
Faith allows the night her witness because faith has seen the brilliance of its contrast.
Faith grows in the darkness because darkness has always been a good soil for faith’s good beginning.
The first darkness before the dawn.
The pregnant pause before the proclamation.
The cultivation before the coronation.
The imagination before the illumination.
The faith edge I’m teetering on in this moment—between night’s grip and day’s break.
I’m almost there. Morning is breaking. The light is beginning to filter in through the blinds, arriving just in time to strengthen my understanding. To validate my night’s wrestling. To buoy my faith and my steps for another day’s journey until the sun and moon collide, once again, to wrestle out their witness within my soul. How I long to embrace the beauty of them equally. Thus, I pray…
Hold me, Father, in the in-between times—those moments between the darkness and the dawn. Cultivate your strength in me as I struggle to reconcile my imagination with your truth… my questions with my faith. When the night seems too long, too dark and too confining, lighten my spirit with the witness of your eternal flame. Burn it strong; burn it certain. Settle my heart in sacred confidence regarding the surety of the day’s arrival. And should I falter in my fear before I get there, find me in my struggle, hold fast to my frame, and pull me through into your morning’s light.
Dawn. Proclamation. Coronation. Illumination. Where I want to live in faith, sweet Jesus. Amen.
Copyright © November 2009 – Elaine Olsen