I woke up this morning and, looking out the window, wondered about the fog.
Didn’t the weather man say it would be sunny this morning?
Mere seconds later, the fog cleared. No, not the fog I was seeing through the window. The fog in my brain.
Looking at the window again, I remembered that the exterior storm windows, set at a distance of a few inches from the original single-pane glass, hold in the moisture of the night. On cold mornings, the view through the windows is dim and foggy, regardless of the weather outside.
A beautiful morning.
It would not be many more hours before the fog was back. The fog in my head, I mean.
I read the words once. “Saying goodbye to my father…”
I read them again, this time through tears. His father is a friend, an encourager, a tease. One of my favorite people.
It’s not true. He can’t be dead.
I don’t know what happened to the sun. Perhaps the tears that came unbidden fogged up the view, but it was dim even after I wiped them away.
The rest of my day was viewed through a dark lens. Tears, sarcasm, anger—all of them were close to the surface and likely to be unleashed without provocation.
I argued with two young men on separate occasions this afternoon. They needed to know how dark the world is.
I took care of that task.
One of them, a man in his late twenties, now clearly understands that his days of carefree happiness are numbered. The reality of death, which will close in to take scores of his friends as he ages, has been explained thoroughly to him.
The second, a slightly older father of two, now grasps fully the ugliness of sin hidden inside every person he respects and loves. I did my best to explain to him that it would be every person who would disappoint. Every person.
The red-headed lady who raised me would have suggested at this juncture that misery loves company.
I wasn’t done yet.
Late this afternoon a longtime friend about my own age related his enjoyment at watching a documentary of a famous singer who, though struggling with Alzheimer’s, still finished his farewell concert tour. It seemed, to my friend, a triumph in the face of overwhelming odds.
Astounded that anyone should see even one ray of sunshine on such an obviously dark day, I set him straight, citing my mother’s experience with the horrible disease before her death last summer. I wasn’t gentle, helping him to understand with graphic descriptions of the horror.
I have apologies to make.
More than that, I need to learn to trust a loving God, who sees the beginning and the end. When events overwhelm, He sends messengers to offer words of comfort, but I, drowning in the dark waves, attempt to pull them down as well.
I will make my apologies.
Learning to trust will take longer—perhaps a lifetime.
Tonight, I’m in agreement with the Psalmist, who suggested that he had some complaints to make and asked that they be heard. (Psalm 64:1)
Funny thing. He got to the end of his complaining and found there was light at the end of the darkness. (Psalm 64:10)
Light. And hope.
It is not so dark here as I thought.
I’m hearing from lots of my friends who believe the entire world is dark and without hope. Events and fears have colored the glass through which they view all of God’s creation.
This morning, as I walked out of my house, the sunshine was brilliant beyond description. The storm windows, designed to protect, had given an illusion of a world covered in cloud.
Beyond the illusion, the sun is still shining.
The light has shined into darkness and has not been overcome by it.
It is not so dark out here.
Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.
(Christopher Columbus ~ Italian explorer ~ ca. 1451-1506)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall make smooth your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ NKJV)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2015. All Rights Reserved.