LORD of the night …
Forty days and forty nights … hungry and alone … tempted and weary, worn to the bone!
Wilderness … rock-hard and fraught, harsh and hot, night winds cold …
Yet possessing its own life and purpose.
With beasts and angels, each counterparts of the other;
Each of God’s creation.
A night in prayer … the inexorable approach of Judas … sleep impossible!
A Gethsemane night … the end at hand … the bitterness of a bloody sweat!
Others nod off for weariness, but you can’t, you won’t!
You are - LORD of the night!
There was darkness over the deep … for billions of years!
Before there was light … before there was night!
Before there was anything,
There was Darkness!
Darkness - pure and quiet.
… restless and troubled.
… uncertain of its ambition.
Darkness - a primal cloud of unknowing.
… soft and comforting.
Darkness - within a woman’s belly wherein we begin.
… within the earth, full of sisters’ and brothers’ blood, when time winds down.
… from whence we come … which claims us in the end.
Darkness - owns its own holiness!
To you, O LORD, darkness is commonplace, old hat, as they say; the first neighborhood.
You know your way in the dark.
Vast expanses, nooks and crannies.
Billions of years:
A Dark Universe is your home.
Yes … yes … you know the darkness!
Through and through.
You’re no stranger to it.
“As light as day” a Psalmist says.
I’m a creature of light!
Though I come from darkness!
The darkness of a mother’s womb!
And will end in the blink of an eye.
In darkness … though some say a darkness of light.
Yes, I’m a creature of light.
You gave me eyes to see my own shadow.
To see the twin lights of my sky.
Myriads of stars, billions of worlds, realms far, far, farther, away.
A star needs the night to be seen.
The light of day has its weaknesses.
Only at night can my day-light eyes see the dark expanses of forever.
I need the night to look beyond my light-bound horizons.
I am a creature of the night.
I yawn and lay me down to sleep.
I wake up to obey the needs of my body, and then read a bit.
Common patterns, patterns of the night.
Patterns of flesh and bone with a mind of their own.
I toss and turn.
With hard memories and broken stories.
Things that go bump in the night and hide under my bed.
Fears trouble me, the fears of this and that, and who knows what.
Fears without form, without definition, a void of worry.
Fears lay hold of my soul.
Strange and sad.
When former things retreat.
And the way ahead is clouded.
I stumble, I stammer, I seek some slice of solace.
Darkness is as much a part of my life as is the light.
Darkness comes and gives me rest.
And darkness stirs and troubles me for the truth.
I am what I am … and somehow or other, I have to say.
It cannot be otherwise:
Darkness has its own purpose and place.
God said: “Let there be light.”
And then, the strange stuff of time:
There was evening and there was morning.
The first day.
My eyes have along ago adjusted to the light.
But in the dark night of the soul …
My light-time eyes serve small purpose …
I cannot see.
Yet, I do.
I think for a moment, as best I can:
To the LORD of the night I belong.
For whom the night is as bright as day.
In whom there is no shadow’s turn.
You, the LORD of darkness, the
God of night … are at home in such places.
In my darkness, you are there!
And still must learn.
Still, I must repeat the refrains of trust and hope.
The simple refrains of my dust, and your Everlasting Arms.
“I believe” … I say to myself … “all will be well and all will be good.”
The Great God Almighty, the God of Light, and the God of Night.
Brilliant and shining, soft and supple …
The days of my life.
The nights of my sleep.
One day of all will be my last.
And at the last, the nighttime of eternal rest.
A nighttime luminous with Presence.
Gates never shut … for want of light.
Countless souls, and glorious songs.
Twice, in my darkness, I’ve heard
A crackling assurance.
A tap on the shoulder, firm and certain.
“Just a moment!” You said.
All will be well.
Not easy, with tears, but well it will be.
Others, too, have heard the sounds of your grace.
Some have followed a star! Some, a pillar of fire!
Shepherds in the field, at night:
A chorus of angels, loud and bright.
In a wilderness without end, or on a cloud-clad mountain.
Desolate in body and soul.
When death is close and ready!
Hope still has its eternal voice.
As life takes its own way and goes where it will.
For good or for ill.
You are there! O LORD …
You are at home in the night.
LORD of shades and shadows!
LORD of an infinite darkness.
An infinite darkness of all our beginnings, and all our endings.
An infinite darkness - the first and beloved realm.
You are there, you are here.
You are LORD of the night.
And I am glad!
© Tom Eggebeen, Pasadena, CA, December, 2021