A bit past midnight in the middle of the workweek, and my mind cannot find that place of calm and quiet that allows my brain to signal my eyes that they are sleepy. I have worked in the kitchen, folded towels, contemplated changing my status in FaceBook a hundred times. I would vacuum, but that comes with its own set of family relationship issues…… since they are asleep….
The television is on, yet nothing of value is on the television. So I powered down the TV as well as the 921 channels designed for never-ending education and entertainment. What a waste…
That’s when I really notice it.
A slight, gentle breeze is blowing through the windchimes on the back deck; very slight, but audible when I am quiet. The cicadas have a rhythm all their own; that odd clicking sound that was the basis of the alien communication in Signs is captivating, and more than slightly distracting.
I notice the crickets that make their homes beneath the redwood deck on our back patio as they call to one another. They have a very steady, irritating pattern of vibrations that make me want to rip my ears off; instead, I choose to remain silent and enjoy the concert.
The dogs in the neighborhood have a standing meeting every night about this time. A few neighborhood puppies gather at the house across the side street to convene a high-level political meeting with two neighbor dogs, held captive behind a beautiful fence. The dogs are either hard of hearing, or passionate about their politics; they are very loud. However, they have no stamina, and disband after just a few minutes.
Suddenly, the crickets stop singing. Just for a moment, the silence of the dark is a welcome change. Soon enough, however, they take up the unconscious and persistent chirping; designed into their DNA from the beginning of creation. Crickets doing what crickets do.
I hear my daughter as she breathes a gentle sigh in her sleep; the sigh of a little girl, content, deep in slumber.
In the quiet of this night, I can also clearly see and review conversations, meetings, email, tweets, and FaceBook postings of this day. Why did I say that? What does she mean when she said my FaceBook photo is not flattering? Why didn’t I say that? Why do you think I owe you an explanation for our parking plan at our satellite church? On and on, I recall the people of the day; the joy of being with our fantastic praise team; profound sadness at the unexpected and unexplained loss of a friend.
Rather than asking again for the hundredth time, “Why?”, I think I will invest in the quiet by “thanking God upon every remembrance of you”; by seeing your face in my mind and cherishing our relationship; by interrupting the quiet with whispered words of praise and thanksgiving to a Mighty God for blessings beyond imagination; words that confess my ineptitude and selfishness; quiet songs of worship.
I will join the rhythm of the night, adding my own sounds, as I think about you. About me. About God.
Just me doing what I do; worshipping the Beautiful Father. And soon enough, I’m sure my eyes will fall heavy with the need for sleep, and I will rest.