Monday, September 16, 2002

Thoughts from a Sleepless Night
(July 23, 2002)

Tonight I couldn't sleep. It was one of those nights when my burdens seemed just a bit heavier, my loneliness a little more intense, and my worries were right on the surface of my soul. I tossed and turned for an hour, then grew tired of the confines of my apartment. So, as my eight hours of sleep became a mere memory, I threw back my sheet and got out of bed.

I put on a pair of flip flops and slipped out of the back door, dodging the bugs that had gathered around my porch light and clung to my screen door. I walked accross the dew-covered grass and picked my way down the darkened path that led to the dock.

I took off my shoes and sat down on the damp wood, dipping my feet into the water that was still warm from the day's sunlight.

During the day, the lake is usually full of noisy boats towing screaming kids. The only sounds now were of the water lapping gently against the shore, and the occasional splash of a near-by fish. I don't know what I expected to find there, sitting on that dock. But gradually peace began to creep into my heart like the silver moonlight pooled at my feet.

I didn't have any sudden epiphany. Sitting there, with the dampness creeping through my pajamas and the thick night air caressing my shoulders, I felt loved.

Despite what I go through, despite my emotions, despite the state of the world around me, I know God is present. Sometimes, I just need to know His face is turned toward me. Like a child, I reach out in the dark with clumsy hands, until my fingers finally brush against His features.

I stayed on the dock until my heart grew lighter and my ankles were covered in bug bites. Now, I sit here in my bed, and in five hours I will start another day. I'll probably still worry about some the very things which snatched away my sleep tonight. But I will cling to the memory of the peace that flooded my soul as my human fingers sought comfort in the face of God.

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