A Night Observed

By Adeyinka Shittu

I long for night and darkness because sometimes, it’s the only time and place I find solace.

After going through the tiring motions of faking smiles and living life, I can barely wait to collapse into my bed and cry a tsunami into my pillow at night. As much as I long to climb into my bed, I cannot help but dread it. Everyday, I spend hours battling the monsters in my head and under my bed.

I fight the what-ifs brewing in my head until my eyelids get tired and my mind drops off into another world. I wake up disgusted by the feel of my pyjamas clinging to my sweaty body glad that I made it through another night, yet sad that I must make it through another day. 

Like a junkie craving the next fix knowing it would one day kill him, I crave the coming of night. Because of this craving, on warm nights, I sit outside my room waiting for day to give way to night.

 I expectantly wait for the world to catch up with my mood. When the sun goes down, I crawl into bed and repeat the cycle. The vicious cycle of struggling by day and warring by night.

Proverbs 4:18 broke the cycle for me.

******

I had watched the dull yellow of late afternoon give way to the deep orange of evening and then the dark violet of night and had begun to feel sleepy so I dusted the seat off my trousers and proceeded to get into bed.

“I want you to stay.”

I knew the voice. The gentle whisper that invaded my thoughts with lines from long forgotten songs and phrases from random books has been my companion during my happy days and the darkest nights of my soul.

I obeyed the voice.

I sat back and watched the stars come out. The moonless sky wasn’t much fun to watch for long. Soon, I was bored and ready to go.

“Can you stay awake with me?”

I tried to. I struggled to. I counted stars and imagined figures emerging from the intersecting stars until I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Can I go now?”

“No.”

 I shivered as I stretched the sleeves of my sweatshirt to cover my fingers. I arched my back and flexed my toes and checked the time. The weather-beaten G-shock wristwatch stared back at me.

2:04am

Like Prophet Habakkuk, I knew it would be a long night of waiting to hear what He had to say so I recited Psalms and sang songs. I quoted poetry and movies and the Bible. Eventually I nodded off to sleep.

“Wake up.”

I felt my mind come alive before my body. I rubbed my eyes and stretched my legs. Sleeping while being seated had cut off blood supply to my butt so I stood to my feet. I looked at the horizon wondering how in heaven I hadn’t died from the cold and mosquitoes.

 “What do you see?”

I looked around and I looked at myself. There was the coke bottle from yesterday evening beside me and the…

 “Look at the works of My Hands.”

I noticed that the stars had gone. The twinkling things had left the sky without my knowing. I looked up to see light threatening to take over the space where the ink-black sky was.

It was 6am but, I was nothing like 2:04am.

It was still quiet but the crowing cocks made a huge difference. It was still cold but the invading light didn’t make it feel that way. Only a few hours had elapsed yet everything was different.

“Man of mustard seed faith, why did you go to sleep?“

My mouth opened to form an answer. None came so I breathed in the unmistakable scent of morning instead. I stood there for God-knows-how-long taking in the full glory of the rising sun and basking in its rays. The only thing on my mind was Proverbs 4:18.

******

Every person who puts faith in God lives a life that can be likened to the sun rising. We rarely start out good. And when we do, we start out like the setting sun. 

We see the tiny hope of the setting sun fade into the cold dark fabric of night so after a few hours of counting the stars and the little blessings God dumps in our laps, we tend to give up.

We fall asleep and let the demons in. We let the enemy do his lying work and we somehow forget that life doesn’t end at 2:04am. 

We forget that no matter how dark the night gets, it has to give way to the brightness of day. It has to. Everyday. Darkness bows to light because it’s a covenant made by God that is set in the stone tablets of the Law and sealed in the blood of Noah’s sacrifice.

Some things are certain as the sun rising, dependable as God himself. Life may stand with its head on the ground and things may feel upside down but nothing can negate truth.

It will get better. Things will get better.

No matter how terrible your life is, it will get better. It just has to. It has to because your life is summed up in Proverbs 4:18.

******

The lives of righteous people are like the morning sun that shines brighter till 12am. (Proverbs 4:18 rephrased)

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Photo Credit: stuffpoint.com/nature/image/320230/the-rising-sun-wallpaper/

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