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I do not often wake in the night, but that was not always so.  Many years ago I assigned myself certain rules for nocturnal wakefulness.  I am not allowed to worry, especially about the wakefulness itself.  My goal is to rest, even when sleep is impossible.  I permit no negative thoughts, because problems seem worse, if not impossible to solve, in the dark.  Silently, of course, I sing hymns, quote scripture, or pray—unafraid of falling asleep on Someone Who will be annoyed with me.  Because I have been told to “pray without ceasing,” I must be able to pray in my sleep.  But if I’m too tired to concentrate on anything uplifting, I fall headlong in God’s wide arms.  This is possible only because I have envisioned them.  God’s arms are as soft as velvet and go on forever.  Everything I see with closed eyes is a charcoal color, except for the hopeful twinkling of stars.  How can I do anything but enjoy them?  I never get up unless I am ill or a family member needs me.  Waking in the night, when nothing is wrong, is annoying at most and a time for spiritual renewal at its undisturbed best.

 

first published in Passager

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