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“Suffocating… I can’t breathe. “
It was 3:30 in the morning.
“I can feel my body lift off the sheets by an invisible force, but not really. It’s a feverish retaliation by my bemused dreams. There is a violent fit, but I’m not ill. Turmoil scars my retinas. Green and purple shapes like freaky circles and infinite spirals of squares race across my blindness. In my mind I’m bending. My spine wants to snap. It’s so heavy and chaotic, and yet, oppressively silent and detached. My mind and heart race, no, explode, with thought and energy. The ground is rocking churning, spinning like a bull beneath me. It wants me gone. My bed is a tempest and my mind is the boat. Still, there is nothing. “
His eyes shot open. He gasped. He shuttered. “I guess I won’t be sleeping tonight.”
He sat under his blankets staring at the wall with the light off till his eyes had adjusted. He didn’t move; he didn’t make a sound.
He looked out the window. It was so quiet, so peaceful.
“And yet, they sleep. No one knows the serenity that they miss.”
His head didn’t hurt anymore and his heart had slowed. He did a few crunches and push-ups to kill time.
“I don’t understand the use of sleep; my mind is most fertile when deprived of rest. Just look at them all: dumb and helpless and unproductive… and for what? They wake up cranky and groggy and just as useless as when they sleep. I don’t see the need.”
He sneaked out to the living room and silently picked up his Bible. His parents didn’t understand his issue and would not be happy if they caught him active at such an “un-Godly hour.”
His floor looked more appealing than his bed. He sat down with his light on and his door closed and bathed in the joy of the Lord’s words to him. A pen lay by his side and a notebook beneath The Book in his lap. He wrote of the splendors of Jesus and prayed.
“Dear Lord, I thank you for this time of stillness and relaxation. In this secret place You give me clarity; You give me understanding; You give me a taste of your nature… but, I’m scared. I beg You, I plead to You, Father, set this city free. All the lights, all the energy, all the excitement and crowds, are to hide the darkness, the sickness, the distress, the loneliness.
“It’s all a lie. I thank You for crushing the evil that has enslaved us, but please show the others that they can be free. It is in this night, in this time of silence and solitude that You are loudest and You are closest.”
He closed his eyes. He basked in the warmth that broke through the calming coolness of the air. He sat on the un-kempt floor of his room in the middle of the night and worshipped his Maker and Friend in total tranquility.
A song made its way to his mind. He found himself humming it, and then quietly, gently, singing it in a voice no higher than a whisper. It seemed unnatural, loud noise, as if it would disturb the earth. It needed its rest and he feared the destruction that might be caused if he awoke it. Each hoarse cracking of the indecipherable melody seemed decibels louder than it actually was. He stopped singing and wrote it down.
“Jesus, words cannot describe the love and the peace You’ve put in my life. All who seek Your face are overcome by grace. You are the light within my heart, and You are what I am all about. I thank you Lord, for who You are to me. You have made me whole. You satisfy my soul. My life is in Your hands. It’s You who makes me stand. Keep coming closer; I need You to survive. The only thing that matters is You in my life.”
He stood up and stretched. He’d been sitting on the bare floor with no support for so long that his back and neck could barely move. He moaned as he did a few jumping-jacks to loosen up.
He looked out the window.
That street light was out of place in the blackness of morning. It was fully aware of its peers distaste. Not one tree, blade of grass, stone, or insomniac liked its presence.
That lawn chair under the big tree softly called his name. It tossed a stone to tap at his window, beckoning him into its refreshing embrace. He grabbed the crumpled blanket off his mattress and walked out toward the kitchen. He poured a cool glass of water then opened the door and stepped out into the stillness and chill of the night. As he sat under the artificial glow of the street lamp, in the comfort of a blanket and chair, beneath the caressing branches of that ancient giant; he closed his eyes.
As his mind became still and clear and he finally floated unconsciously to the distant shores of his dreams, a gentle beam of pink and orange light softly brushed across his resting eyes.