In Quiet Places

A giant in the world of rock music died yesterday.  

The tributes to David Bowie have filled the pages of social media.  Videos have been shared, stories told, organ solos have even been performed in cathedrals.  And now, the questions are being raised.

Is David Bowie in heaven?  Did he become a believer in the waning days of his life?

I’m not going to talk about him.  Not exactly, anyway.  

You will find the discussion of his final destination in the days to come upon the sensational pages of other blogs.  Anger and name-calling will follow—both by believers and non-believers alike.  I choose not to participate.

Still, in the quiet of this night, I consider the possibilities.  For him—and for all of us.  

I wonder—what about these quiet hours, the lonely time between times, when no one else is stirring?  They are some of the most soul-searching intervals I have experienced.  Surely, there’s a chance?

I’m aware that I’m a man of strange habits—late-night writing sessions, followed by wandering through the house speaking to shadows and arguing with the walls.  Not everyone spends their nights in the same fashion.

But, many who are creatures of habit, making their way to bed at regular hours and planning for early morning arising, sometimes find themselves at the mercy of the night.  

For some, when life is proceeding smoothly and all is well in their world, the nights are blissful oblivion.  No questions are whispered into the dark; no prayers are addressed to the ceiling (and beyond).

But life is not all smooth lanes and well-oiled machinery.  

Trouble will come. Sleep will flee.  Rest will escape.

Pleas will be delivered to Heaven and promises made.  Tears will be shed. 

I don’t suppose it’s true for all, but I suspect it happens to more than will admit it.

chairAnd finally, in the receding years of my life, I have discovered a truth I never imagined.  

Those times in the quiet hours are precious.  They are life-changing.  They are priceless.

When all is as we imagine it should be, we have no time for God.  We have no need for God.  Rich in things, we fill the days with noise and commotion, and exhausted, fall into our beds, never giving a thought to the poverty of our souls.

Yet, in our darkest night, He will be found.  It seems it’s always, finally, in our darkness that we seek His light.  

He’s there waiting, too.  (Psalm 139:11-12)

When the one who slept beside you in your bed all those years never will again and you cry for them in the night, He will be found.

When disease tears at the body of your child and you scream silently into the dark, He hears.

When the emptiness of life on your own drives you, at last, to give it all to Him, He’s waiting.

He’s always been waiting. (Revelation 3:20)

Did David Bowie find Him in the darkness of his night?  Perhaps.

Perhaps not.

I don’t know.

But you can.

I have.

Again and again.




You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.
(Psalm 18:28 ~ NIV)



But something tells me that you hide
When all the world is warm and tired
You cry a little in the dark, well so do I.
(from Letter to Hermione ~ David Bowie ~ English singer/actor ~ 1947-2016)




© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved. 

5 thoughts on “In Quiet Places

  1. Loved this Paul and I have often found him in the night. He’s up. He’s the watchman of his own. And he waits to see if in the night we might find one or two moments to direct our conversations away from the shadows to him. The maker of all.

    Love your writing.

  2. Very meaningful to me! Thank you for expressing so well what I know to be true. I sing to Him in the night – not out loud, of course, so I don’t wake my neighbours!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *