It could’ve been me.
It could have been my wife, worn down in every way by the constant drain of caring for a disabled husband dying a slow, inexorable death, responding to a writer-friend’s post, saying, “He’s dead.” It could be her, now dealing with the ebb and flow of feelings she’s unsure whether she ought to be having. . .
Is it right for me to feel relief? Is that unloving and unappreciative of what he’s gone through? How do I reconcile the release, the freedom, the spirit-buoyancy I’m feeling with the memory of and respect for my spouse? I’m grieving. Our families are grieving. Everything’s different. I feel torn inside, conflicted with such different and opposite reactions. What do I do with this?
I remember as a kid being bored to tears singing a verse of an ‘old’ hymn: “I know I shall see in His beauty the King in whose law I delight. Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps and giveth me songs in the night. . .” At the time I recall wishing they’d just get over it, already.
I mean, who says, “eth” any more?
“Mom, can I haveth a drinketh of pop–eth?”
“Yes, I’ll haveth the prime ribeth, medium with horth–horseradish. Eth.”
Nobody does ‘eth’ anymore, unless identifying the 19th letter of the alphabet with a lithp. So, whenever I would hear words sung ending in ‘eth’, I sort of tuned them out as archaic. Old songs being sung by old people with nothing better to do, just waiting to go Home to be with Jesus.
Back then I had no clue how clueless I was.
Since then I’ve spent a few inky dark nights of my own. I have lived long enough to appreciate having a song to sing at midnight.
Anybody can sing when the sun’s out. Somehow those songs don’t cost as much, nor do they mean as much as the ones God brings to mind at 2 AM when you can’t sleep because the pain’s too intense. Or you’ve just had a dream about what your life could have been like had you told God, “Naw, I’m not interested.” Or one about what God wanted to do through your life had you been walking closer to Him.
Yeah, go ahead and let the tears come. Believe me, I understand.
So that snippet of verse about God helping me remember songs that make the most sense in the night? Since I spent some murky, sooty-black nights of the soul, I haven’t made fun of it.
I’ve celebrated it.
Now I appreciate how God gives me and anyone else daring to live an authentic life in Him songs in the night.
Thank you, 2nd Cupper, for being transparent enough to share your own night song with me. God bless and hold you close to His great heart.
© D. Dean Boone, April 2016