The night is necessary. We need the night to shut down and rejuvenate biologically, emotionally and spiritually. Night can give such comfort when we are weary and we relax into it when given the chance. For some, though, the night holds terrors and fears that are hard to shut down. As an overnight recovery counselor for adolescent addicts I observed that it is was clear that peaceful sleep was a gift for them. Addiction is exhausting so when these young women began to trust that they were safe they began to heal in the dark. The night for them was necessary.
Night can be despair, loneliness, fear and some of my young patients struggled with trusting the darkness because of the horrors that can happen there. But while my charges slept, the battle in their minds and bodies with addiction was quieted for a while and their bodies continued the healing that is necessary for recovery. The darkness of night can also give us a place to hide when we feel pursued by the dangers of those who wish us harm.
The dark of night for those with hope can both shelter us from the chaos of the world to give us rest and each morning we are reminded that the dawn will come. Creation began in the darkness and only in darkness can we see the beauty that is light. The night is necessary.
Prayer: Lord of light, we thank you for bringing light out of darkness so that we may know both rest and hope. Keep us always mindful of your presence in the darkness and that you will never leave us to the darkness alone and that your presence is light even in the deepest night. Amen
Rev. Joy Gonnerman