It’s dark when I rise these days. Still night, really. Certainly too dark to step out on the deck and greet the morning (I stopped doing that a few weeks ago when I encountered a black, hard-shelled creature the size of a Volkswagen).
I sit in a wing chair near the window where, eventually, I’ll be able to see the eastern sky grow lighter, and reach into a basket next to the chair for my Bible, journal, earbuds, and my copy of Robert Benson’s Venite: A Book of Daily Prayer.
There’s a now-familiar lump in my stomach again this morning. I’m not sure if I’m depressed or discouraged, if I need to buck up or curl up. All I know is that I’m not the self I wish I was, and I haven’t been for months.
I read scripture and chew on it for a time. Scribble thoughts in my journal. Pray (that’s such a short, simple word for something that can be so deep—yet still simple). Listen to a webcast. Try to figure things out. Sip coffee.
Later I’ll stand in the shower, allow the comfort of warm water to rain on me as I lean on the wall, arms raised, tears mixing with the shower water, crying out in prayer. Help.
There’s a snippy little critical voice in the back of my mind telling me dangerous things I dare not pay attention to. It mocks me and the goals I set—especially the one about finding fresh ways to write timeless truth for the benefit of others. I struggle to write anything other than in my journal and when I do It comes out dark, like this post.
But maybe that’s okay in this literal and figurative dark night. Maybe someone else needs a companion when the happy-clappy kind of faith just doesn’t cut it anymore. Maybe being honest about the struggle and the weight and the heavy pit in the centre of me and the fact that some (or many) days I come out the other side of my morning prayer none the wiser or better for having spent the time but knowing I’ll return the next morning anyway will offer someone a measure of encouragement.
Maybe that’s enough.
I look left, and up, and there, just barely, I see light in the sky. Every morning. Without fail. After dark comes dawn.