Driving home at 2 AM is not what I would ordinarily recommend. It was not my intention when I left home just after the noon hour the day before.
The road was devoid of other travelers as I made my way back home; movement of neither critters nor creatures of fields and pastures was not detected. Traffic lights all glowed green.
The outside thermometer showed 66 degrees Fahrenheit. The midnight blue expanse of sky was in sharp contrast to the glittering stars, heaven’s diamonds. I lingered after exiting the car and before entering the house. In the darkness of night, there was such stillness and beauty. In the darkness of night, when many people would be found snuggled in bed and in deep sleep, I stood as in reverence under a blanket of purity.
During the previous 12 hours, I had gazed into the eyes of a child who was incredibly accepting and generous with wonder, with curiosity, with passion and with giggles. She is just learning to write and to read; she is ever so eager to show off her new skills. She loves to entertain; being the recipient of applause energized her beyond the physical endurance of many an adult. Her words and her actions pleaded with me not to leave before she herself would be leaving. She became a human barricade at the door trying to detain my departure, yet she gracefully escorted me to the car, carrying the grocery bag that held a bottle of pop and a bowl of snacks. With wisdom gained from experience, she placed the bag in secure spots in the console to the right of the driver’s seat. My heart is in her hands when I leave her; it hurts to even breathe when face-to-face with her unguarded vulnerability and encompassing acceptance. It is as if the innocence of grace has materialized in miniature human form yet overwhelming, humbling, freeing and life giving.
The evening had just begun when I left her. I meandered around local shops and then drove to a diner though I was not hungry. An acute loneliness always hits after I’ve been in her presence; the diner would be a busy place to anonymously absorb that sense of loss.
My booth quickly became a hub of activity, though there were only a simple mug of coffee and a large-print book on the table before me. Several of the staff members came by to chat, teasing and laughing while they carried out the duties of attending to their assigned guests. The hours slipped by unnoticed as the chapters progressed from one to another and pages turned. Inevitably someone sat down and lingered; it seemed a conversation of depth was needed. Finally recognizing the hour and the foolishness of being out and about at such an hour, I bundled my things to head home.
My heart was full when I arrived home and I could feel a soft smile across my face when I stepped out of my car. The quirks of life with its burdens and responsibilities have a way of settling into proper perspective in the face of Grace. Clarity of mind and stillness of heart breathes a renewed hope into a heart of longing. Grace and beauty, love and peace are not blotted out in the hush of night. The diamonds of heaven were the brightest against the backdrop of darkness, as if they were being draped in velvet. Yet that beauty is often not seen simply because we are asleep.
Driving home at such a late hour goes against common sense. Stepping out despite of the darkness opened the door to unexpected vision.