In the quietness of the night strange things happen, especially in your mind. As spring comes to New York I find myself enjoying leaving the windows open, inviting the cool spring air to bring a simple gentleness to the darkness. Yet there is a memory which haunts. On an otherwise quiet night there was a blood curdling scream which ended in punctuated silence. Everything seemed to listen for the next sound. The insects were quiet, nothing seemed to be outside, and silence dominated. I moved to the window. With fearful eyes I scanned the scene. Everything was where it was supposed to be; nothing out of place or moving. It was as if the sound had never been. Yet I knew but didn’t.
I have had the occasional nightmare which mirrored that moonlit night. It is as if someone somewhere is trying to say something. I wish I understood the message. I even wish I knew who was giving me the message and why. As the day dawned, then and now, I find myself struggling to understand just what happened and why.
I don’t know what happened on that recent night in New York’s lower east side neighborhood. There were no notes in the paper. The local papers didn’t have anything in the police blotter section. Everything is as it was, except for the memories. I hope my story mirrors that of old; “at bedtime, terror fills the air. By morning it's gone—not a sign of it anywhere! This is what happens to those who would ruin us, this is the fate of those out to get us.” (Isaiah 17.14) Yet I wonder if I listen to God any differently than those of yesterday.
Listening is the beginning of understanding. Without this first step no other even which might, could, and can follow has a chance.
Being open to what the message is often comes next. Without the willingness to hear what is, listening has little purpose.
Reflecting, learning, and having the willingness to change and act will give birth to growth.
Enjoy the dawn.
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