Friday, December 6, 2019

Night Vision

I had just stacked the bags of groceries along the floorboards, making sure the milk wouldn't topple the eggs, checking my watch with relief that for once my timing had worked.

Backing out of my parking spot, I looked to the left, and there it was.

Tucked in between rooflines scrubbed dull from the decades and the glowering December cloud cover, peeking out from around the corner of gloom with just one eye - a bright spot. Small and warm.

I took a picture from the driver's seat. Then three more.

I drove away.


We had our weirdest Thanksgiving yet. Weirder than a roomful of strangers. Weirder than tacos served with pumpkin pie. Weirder than realizing mid-bite that some of our guests had once coexisted in the underworld of light-blocking curtains and meth labs.

This was the year we would run home to Ohio. This was the year we would humbly accept that no one really needed us, not like that.

But then a beloved neighbor, only fourteen years old, went missing. By Thursday our hearts were on fire and by Friday it was impossible to think about anything without picturing his mother's tears.

We schlepped around in our sweats and socks, ate pie for breakfast, and tried not to imagine horrific scenes. From the corner of my parents' hunter green couch I ordered 150 vigil candles while Cory talked to news reporters on the landline.

We wrote social media posts. We talked to authorities with raised voices.

"He's been trouble for a long time," we were told.
"He's a runaway."

"If he comes home, he comes home."

"He's loved."

"We're scared."
"We know him better," we countered.

Later that night, after the candles and the calls, after some solid attempts at distraction, after six endless days of vanishing, he emerged from thick darkness, safe.

"We tried to tell you," they said."


I always forget how disastrous the holidays are in our neck of the woods. It takes me by surprise each year, confusion followed by a spark of recognition. Ah yes, this is what we do in November.

Neighbors lose homes. They lose jobs. Relationships fracture. Out from the cracks of desperation, pain seeps and soaks. It saturates. It swallows some whole. "Just this once," they tell themselves. "Who cares?" they say out loud, to no one.

Meanwhile, I go numb without a drug.

This is the season of waiting in the dark. For hope. For peace. For Jesus. What does that mean when you've stood so long in low lamplight? How do we observe Advent - this quaint, symbolic thing - with eyes like bats, permanently accustomed to the night?

I'm still thinking of that parking lot sky. "I guess this must be hope," I'd said out loud to no one.

Hope is not being bullied by an "I told you so."

Hope is running to a safe place at midnight and believing the door would be opened.

Hope is acknowledging relapse as part of the process of recovery, sometimes.

Hope is being brave enough to say, "This is day one," again.

Hope is not being ashamed of believing the best.

Hope is lighting 150 candles in the dark on the worst of nights, and one on the best.

Hope shows up at Kroger, over asphalt, when you're out buying sausage for the soup. It's right there, not close enough to feel, but near enough to notice.

Hope arrives, small and warm.

{I stumbled on this short, meaningful video on hope earlier this week. "Hope is precisely not being happy," Laura Jean Truman shares. If you're struggling to hold onto hope or if you want to better empathize those who are struggling, this will help. Follow the Rise series by clicking here.}


  1. Oh yes, I am HERE for the blog! I also have similar feelings on holidays, always completely floored again and again at how much I long for Jesus to come make things right. How much I'll never again know the safety and security of what it was like growing up because now I've tasted pain that is real and not just a tidy box of toys donated to Samaritan's Purse. Always admiring you from afar!

  2. Best Ever Hindi Sad Shayari of 21st Century hindi shayari Hey sad shayari lovers, readers, writers and listeners, sad hindi shayari today we have bought
    a 100+ hindi sad shayari collection that you would really love.

  3. شركة زهرة الخليج دائما لديها كل ماهو جديد في عالم التنظيف فنحن ليدنا اسليب وطرق حاصة في التنظيف ولدينا اجهزة البخار التى تساعدنا على ازالة اصعب الاوساخ والبقع من تنجيد الكنب والمفروشا
    تنظيف بالبخار
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالبخار بعجمان
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالبخار بدبي
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالبخار بالفجيرة
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالبخار بالعين
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالبخار بابوظبي
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالبخار بالشارقة


  4. شركه كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء

    شركه تنظيف منازل بالجبيل
    والصدق والامانه فى العمل ، وهدفنا هو ارضاؤك وراحتك ، لا تقلق ونحن معك

    شركه عزل فوم بالجبيل
    لا تجهد نفسك ونحن تحت امرك ورهن اشارتك .
    أبرز خدمات مؤسسة الحرمــين للمقاولات العامة بالدمام والرياض

    شركه عزل فوم بالدمام

  5. Macrons are delicious and aromatic bakery items. They are available in various beautiful colours. Hence, their packaging should be attractive and brightly colourful. french macaron boxes fulfil this requirement. These boxes are created specifically for macrons to provide them with a marvellous outer look and reasonable inner care.

  6. Amazing work. Appreciate it for this blog post. Such a nice information. After reading your post… I am all set and clear about it. If you are facing trouble with your Canon Printer then visit. Thanks for sharing.Canon Printer Error Code b300

  7. hindi shayari Hey shayari lovers! Today I’m going to share with you 70+ sad Shayari in Hindi which are totally unique and rare.If you are searching for Shayari in the internet era then this is the best result for you. Couples are using Hindi sad Shayari to express their views in front of their lover.hindi shayari

  8. I gotta say, sausage on soup doesnt sound very appetizing to me. Good read though.

  9. The growing competition in the business industry has made it necessary for any company to stay in competition or have a competitive advantage over its competitors, adequate and relevant information about the competitors need to be received or known at the right time in other to make a good strategic business decision. Avail professional business industry assignment help by our academic writers based in Australia.