become nocturnal. I'm not sure why, although I
am certain that I could easily come up with a dozen
suspected reasons why sleep is eluding me these
experienced it? During the day you walk around
in a bit of a fog. And then, in the dark of
night, WOW! how the thoughts and emotions
pop. Outside of that framework of daylight,
it's easier, it seems, to become more aware of how I
feel about things; the conversational Spanish that's
buried somewhere deep within the recesses of my
brain moves to the front and suddenly I'm
brilliantly bilingual; the forgotten and undone
tasks of the day are remembered; a song is born;
I've solved the world's problems, or at least
seemingly so and wonder, could it really be so
simple?; I grow excited with the impending, dawning
day and can't wait to hop out of bed and seize it,
cramming as much of those ideas and songs and notes
to write and chores to complete and problems to
solve as I can into the day. Whew!
in the midst of the darkness, suddenly keenly aware
of all there is that can be done, I find I'm
almost paralyzed to rise from the bed. What
exactly needs to be done? I don't want
to disturb the clarity that comes from the
stillness. You see, if I rise too soon, the
dreamlike stupor will rapidly vanish, taking with it
on the fleeting wings of night all that had seemed
so clear to me in the silence.
been blessed over the last year or so, and
especially in recent months, to have shared a bit of
my story with you... a story that was born from
silence and stillness. And so many have asked
me, "how?" How do you do it? How do you
find the silence? How do you find the clarity?
How do you make out God's voice to you amidst the
din of living?
taught us over and over about the need to go into
the desert, to be still, to listen. Have you
noticed how many times Jesus begins a parable or a
story or a teaching with, "Listen!"? There was
a time when I equated this to our modern day,
attention-getting "Hey!", as in, "Yo! I'm
about to speak." Today, however, I think
differently on Jesus' admonition to listen. He
modeled the example of listening as he would wander
away to pray or spend time in the desert.
that in our crazy lives today, it's just not so easy
to pack things up and go off into a place of
solitude for a period of time. I do believe it
can be an amazingly meaningful and spiritual time.
But don't lose heart. Find the silence in the
breadth of the night. Ease into and take
comfort in the sleepless nights. Appreciate
the stillness. Listen.
write this in the early, pre-dawn hours of the day,
I drift to Mary. What kind of clarity she must
have had in the night! A very conversation
with an angel of the Lord!! Surely she must
have comprehended, even as she lay there in the
stillness only days away from bearing the Christ
child, that this son would be great, and yet would
endure much. And surely our loving and
redeeming God did not leave Mary to fly solo on this
journey of raising our Savior. Can't you just
imagine what peace and knowing she must have
encountered as she lay there through the years,
listening into the night?
you all the joy and wonder of this holy season of
Advent and Christmas. May you be astounded by
God's love for you, as expressed in the very baby,
wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.
Grace and peace
to you as you journey.
Yours in Christ,