Out of the Depths
Do you remember any one particularly long night when it seemed as though the morning would never come? Nights in the hospital can seem especially long. It is difficult to sleep in the hospital. The need for care often interrupts and disturbs sleep with the sound of alarms, the prick of needles and hubbub in the halls or rooms next door. The pain and suffering, the symptoms of the illness itself slow the passing of the hours. The night seems to never end for both patient and for those keeping watch beside them or just outside in a waiting room. Then the morning comes. The night of watching and waiting ends. The new day begins.
While nights spent in hospitals may be long, hospitals aren’t usually dark or quiet. In those days after Sandy, when we had no electricity, night came with surprisingly deep darkness. Those nights, too, were long, but they were also deeply dark, cold and quiet. In our house we could not see my hand in front of my face, and all we could hear were the sounds of silence and wind. In the center of our house we groped about like we had descended into the depths of the earth, a deep, dark cave. We waited till the light of dawn revealed our familiar home and the lovely faces of our family.
What do you do to keep watch on particularly long nights, dark, cold and silent? The experience of long nights of darkness have long served as metaphors for spiritual struggles, but what we do to bodily endure and pass an actual long night — in a hospital, at the bedside of a loved one, in the storm and in the dark and silence — is spiritual struggle as well. It is one and the same suffering and struggle.
Take minute to read Psalm 130
The latest news, sermons and commentary on our life in mission together.