Like a Thief in the Night
I waited outside, cold winds blowing against my cheeks, excited to see the Lunar Eclipse. The moon was so bright and full, above me, appearing so close that I was certain I could reach out and touch it. I remembered as a child, wondering why I could not simply stretch my hands out and pull the moon to me. I wanted so badly to hold it and keep it in my bedroom for a night-light. A smile crossed my face as I shook my head at my own silly thoughts. I knew I could Not touch the moon tonight but still, I stretched out my hands and held it in my palms for just a moment. Though I could not truly feel it, my mind and my heart felt the magnitude of God's creation and I thank him for it, silently.
I looked around me, the trees, bare except for the naked branches. The branches shadows laid on the ground, reaching out across my lawn. They were like arms, clinging to the earth as if they might never let go. Some danced up and down from the wind while others moved from side to side. The moon caused the trees and the houses around me to cast their shadows as if the sun were shining down on them. I could see almost as clearly as if it were dawn, just before the Sun rose. Anxious, waiting... knowing how awed I would be when the Lunar Eclipse started. Picture this night with me, A full moon, illuminating everything from fields to trees to homes. The houses, lights turned off because it is nearly Midnight, appeared to have a nighht light on that shone inside the house. The very night light that I wanted so badly to possess as a child, now belonged to everyone.
Smiling, excited to watch the sun slowly cover the moon, my daughter steps out for a moment. "Dad, the eclipse happened at 7 a.m. this morning. Do you want to see the pictures of it?"
I looked at her with a bit of confusion and suddenly, her words sunk in. I walked with her to the computer where pictures of the eclipse filled the screen. A sadness fell down around me, like a child waiting to see his first circus, only to find it had already been there and was gone.
"Two years, Dad, and it will be back." I said nothing. I simply walked out of the room, hearing her "I am sorry, Dad", as I made my way back outside. The moon was still so bright and so very close that I could see the craters on it's surface. I had battled the "Holiday Blues" and fought each night for weeks the places that my mind takes me. anyone would be disappointed, just as I was. But for me, for those that know how deeply this disorder rocks our world, I spiraled into a darkness that even the moon could not light for me. All that I had been keeping at bay found it's way to my mind and heart. It tugged at me, pulling me to where I truly have been for a very long time.
I stood on the porch, eyes stinging from the cold wind and "other" things. I thought about life and where I have been. I struggled with my failures and short-comings. I thought about where I was in life and where I wanted to be. The mountains I have climbed but never reached the peak. A love I fell short in and didn't finish. projects left sitting, 3/4's finished but never complete. Songs and novels that are half way up the mountain, but have not seen the top. A man more blessed with love and accomplishments and happiness and life than any one man deserved to be and Yet...
In my night, while waiting for something beautiful, the thief comes and snatches it from me. I stare out at God's handi-work and through blurred eyes, I shake my head and watch the moon move across the tree-line. It will not be covered this night. The shadows from the tree's, naked and cold, no longer look like shadows. they are arms, reaching out to steal my smile from me. There will be those that read this and shake their heads in disbelief that a mind, so filled with the goodness and grace of God, could fall into such a place. They will whisper under their breath that I should "Get over it." Some will read this and simply feel a sadness for me. And their will be those that smile softly to themselves and say quietly "I understand."
My smiles are beacons that call to something unseen and beckon them to come steal them from my heart. Those that love me and try to understand keep me grounded. Those that doubt and think I can simply go on, take the wind out of me and leave me wondering... Two years will not be so long. I will wait for the lunar eclipse again and smile if I am blessed to see it. Tis the season to praise God for the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I will hold to that warmth for a time. That, is something Nothing in this world or other-wise can steal from me. It is mine to keep.