It is in places of great sorrow where God and humanity collapse. Miracles happen in those places where the Divine meets our tears. It is good to be torn by what we have lost and to be consumed by the silence. Deep and dreamless sleep is elusive from our God-scorched soul shadows. His image burned into our flesh and His passion bleeding from our veins. Great love meets unbearable pain and the beauty drowns out the sky.
Madness sieges the minds of the sane through the weapon of streaming consciousness. Neon lights from the upscale strip mall outside my window invade my space to compete under a timeless sky with Rachel of old weeping for her lost child, King Herod drenching the land with the blood of a thousand infants, and angels that pierce through the darkness in a land called Bethlehem.
The moonlight beckons deeper as I ponder [head on pillow] tonight with streaming consciousness in a new land, with reflections of: Rachel, Herod, Bethlehem, Carmel, 1874, and 1974. They are all snapshots of places and times of loss and hope. I am a Shepherd under silent stars.
I am a Shepherd under silent stars.
I turn my head from this vantage, scanning a new horizon with familiarity. Another time I was in this place... it was me that stood here then, but I am someone different as I hold this ground today. A new city, a new job, new schools, a new roof covers my head. The promise is true that each morning can be new.
Coincidental parallels flash as beacons to illuminate truths. My father was born in this land. My grandfather who once prayed over me is memorialized as repeat play each moment I think of the name of this town... Carmel. His first prayers covered me in 1974. This town was founded 100 years earlier... 1874.
"In a hunnert [hundred] years, nobody'll know the difference." He said that whenever I'd help him build. We built decks, fences, and houses. I know now that he was building so much more. He was building me... and that has made all the difference.
There are no coincidences here.
This is a place of a violent collision of sorrow and unimaginable hope. This is Bethlehem. A land of great hope that has been birthed from great loss. I am so grateful. So very grateful. Above Thy deep and dreamless sleep, above time, above the face of the darkness... through the water and through the blood... there is nothing but peace.
Qoheleth knew it... God whispered in his ear under dark skies and empty streets, "The end of the matter, all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments..."
When the shattered pieces disturb the dust of the earth, and the desolation consumes the light... there is still God in the darkness, resting deep in dreamless imaginings... ready to create. I never walk in darkness. Even the thickest of darkness is filled, He dwells there.
I tremble in the darkness, but it is not the darkness that fills me with fear. His deep and dreamless presence is above, below, to all the aspirations of the compass. I tremble because He whispers to me in the darkest of places. I cannot escape Him and I tremble with fear, with relief, and with an incomparable thankful, bleeding, and beating heart.
I am not worthy to be here. But I know that I am placed here by the one who fills the darkness with a burning light. And so I rest here. I lay down my weapons. I yield to this landscape. I breath deep the cutting night air and I lean in to the sounds of angels. He has set me in this place.
And in this place I will keep my watch.