The sun has gone down. The blue-grey sky painted with white billows of oddly shaped clouds, has again become a dark, empty canvas. Glitters of light are being thrown against this vast, black void. They multiply before my eyes.
Suddenly, without much notice, the voices of daylight are quieted. A hush blankets my surroundings. Deep breaths are being taken, as parents put their children to bed. A moment of rest and solitude, before sleep takes over and invites tomorrowland.
Reflected silverlight is drawing shadowed sketches of trees and buildings on street pavements. The moon is commanding the celestial sphere, and capturing my gaze. Each night there is variance, but it’s grandeur remains constant.
The artistry of the night is different from the day. It’s simpler, yet bold and brilliant. If you pace with it, slowing down your muscles movements and mind meanderings, you’ll see it, feel it.
I’ve found fragments of shalom hidden in this secret place. The watches of the night, when fellowship with brothers and sisters is scarce. When the forces of distraction are lessened by the veil of darkness. When the sound waves of my small singing voice meet the gates of heaven and pass right through.
The night is a mystery. Often branded by the company it acquires. Its very name and description stirs up shadowy images of times and seasons better left as faded memories.
We relate to the night. We know what it is to feel as though our identity is nothing more than dark loneliness. But as we push beyond the fear of silence and sunless sight, our hands outstretched in front of us, we touch the invisible. Where faith and hope are activated, as we trust fall into the rest of God.
For when the night has reached its darkest hour, I look down and see the faintly burning wick of my spirit. It’s flame being pushed and shoved from side to side by forces of the unseen. But it is not quenched. I praise my God, my Father of all light, because it’s real. My light is small, but it’s beautiful. My love is small, but it’s burning with sincerity.
I look up and I meet the gaze of my Beloved. Though darkness has cloaked the path of my feet, he is the bright morning star. His eyes are forever burning with love, and I will not lose his gaze. My feet will not slip, because his eyes never sleep. And I choose freely to remain awake with him, in the watches of the night.
“Any fool can sing in the day. It’s easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight. But the skillful singer is the one who can sing when there is not a ray of light to read by. Songs in the night come only from God. They are not in the power of man.”