Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bumps in the night

My house is noisy. Creaks, bumps, scampers, and clicks are ongoing. Late at night, the sounds can be quite distracting.

When we first moved in, I was okay with it as long as there were other people in the house. But in the summers when the kids were gone, I'd sometimes wake up from some noise and lie there in bed anxiously straining to hear what was going on in the corridor or on the roof. In those groggy middle-of-the-night hours, my vivid imagination would run away with me, and, heart pounding, I'd wait for the malevolent intruder who never came until I fell back into a fitful sleep.

It almost seems silly to write about it now, but at the time it was quite distressing. Ruined sleep is no joke. And I began to wonder if this sweet little house that I loved were really the right place for me.

Unfortunately, I tended to forget about the situation once the day had started, so it took a long time for it to occur to me to pray about it. And in daylight, it was so easy to be rational about it. We're just talking about imagination, right? Nothing was really wrong, after all. But in the night, the shivers were very real.

"NIGHT. Darkness; doubt; fear," reads Science and Health. Yep, that's about right. It's like I was experiencing night, pure and simple.

The situation resolved two ways. First, the prayer way. One night I did manage to pull myself together enough to call out to God, my strong protective Father, for help. That night, God was a personal presence to me, a Friend I could call on, a Comforter looking over me. It's funny how God can be what you need Him to be in whatever circumstance.

I could almost feel the divine hand on my brow, smoothing away the fear. And He said, in His wonderful warm voice, "Darling, there's no one in My creation who wants to harm you."

Ah! What a lovely thought! Even if there were an actual *person* responsible for all the noises, that person was still a child of God and had no desire to hurt me. Laughing a bit, I realized I was praying for someone imaginary because of course no one had ever been there. But still, it was incredibly comforting.

I remembered this thought every time I woke up for the next several weeks. I'd lay back in God's loving arms, and fall gently back to sleep. Eventually there were no more night-shivers at all.

The second resolution has to do with me getting to know my house better. Now that I'm spending more time alone as an empty nester, I'm beginning to recognize the noises during the day that were getting so magnified at night. The bump of acorns dropping on the roof, the scamper of squirrels, the creak of adjusting floorboards, the tick of the heat coming on. Normal sounds of a 100% normal house.

A little story perhaps. That moment of comfort stays with me, though.


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2 Comments:

At 11/09/2006 08:37:00 AM, Blogger Sandy W. said...

For quite awhile I, too, was troubled with "noises in the night," however they weren't so much creaks and groans from the house but rather things that went bump in my consciousness: doubts, fears, stresses, etc. Instead of lying there fretting and feeling worse by the minute, I resolved to pray about these mental "noises." Among the Bible passages that helped to fuel my prayers was this one from Psalm 42:8 - "Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." Sometimes that song took the form of hymns that I would silently sing to myself. Other times, it was the repetition of the Lord's Prayer or whatever spiritual truth I could focus on. Occasionally I'd have to physically get out of bed and move to another room to help quiet my thought - I find that mortal mind will often try to rely on patterns and habits to work its mischief. It took awhile, but my persistent prayers brought me to a point where I no longer worry when I happen to awaken in the wee hours. It's an opportunity to listen as God sings to me!

Thanks, Laura, for your wonderful daily messages.

 
At 11/10/2006 12:20:00 AM, Anonymous rev. Veronika said...

I love the way in Christian Science when stories end in healing by relying on prayer. I have got so used to it by now, that I am actually astonished that everybody else isn't doing the same.
Love, Veronika

 

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