Dark nights, bright stars
On a cold and lonely winter night,
When I looked up, I saw not the moon
The sky darker and sinister tonight
I missed the noise, heat and the light of noon
On my lonely bed, I cuddled myself tight,
Hoping that this feeling would pass quickly soon
Wishing the night would pass to end my plight.
In the solitude was terror and swoon
I looked out my window and saw a bird
At last, a companion for the night
“Look up again friend”
The winged fellow seemed to whisper.
So I looked up, I looked up and saw the skies again
I saw the skies again and saw the bright stars lit up the skies
“The stars are brightest when the skies are dark!” chirped the bird
It dawned on me in extenso, the vanity of having fear of the unknown and giving in to uncertainty. I began writing this piece on the weekend before my MB.ChB Final Part 1 Clinical Exams in Paediatrics. It has taken me exactly three months to finish it up. In between, I have done a lot of traveling and forgotten about it and fallen prey to this canker again. I hope you find some inspiration from my writing.
Dark nights. We all have them. Those days when everything seems dark and gloomy. The days when we can virtually sense doom upon us. Days when we feel lonely and deserted. Days we often label; ‘the day I will never forget’. We have had it before, each one of us and these days will continue to be with us.
Such days will come upon us because we have been forewarned about them. Tribulations will come, we will walk through the deep waters, and we will walk through fire and rain. We will part with loved ones and never see them or enjoy the warmth of their embrace again. Our purses may not always be swollen with legal tender to barter for what we wish for or even what we need.
We never have promises of a trouble-free life. What we have are assurances. Assurance that morning surely comes after night. Assurances that we will never be alone even to the very end of the age. Faith, hope and love.
Ever found hope in the midst of adversity?
Ever seen the little ray of light at the end of the dark and murky tunnel?
Ever stopped complaining and looked not around but up and suddenly felt hope restored?
Ever exhaled desperation and inhaled goodness and peace because your burdened heart was touched by its maker?
Ever had reason to hope beyond all reason and against all odds that surely, morning comes after night?
I don’t consider myself a poet even though I love poetry. I am always looking for ways to communicate in a deeper sense what I think about every day and what I have come to know in a score and 5 years of my life.
I once heard the quote; “Your attitude (how you respond to any situation) defines you altitude (how far you go in life).” This is almost axiomatic in every sense of the word.
Once again let me draw my reader’s attention to a popular analogy used in many a motivational speech. It is the concept of the optimist and the pessimist views. The former says the glass is half full, the latter says it is half empty.
We have at our disposal countless stories in history of how seemingly disadvantaged individuals turned the tide around in their favor.
• It is said that when Thomas Edison’s 2 million dollar house went up in flames, his son (Charles) found him sitting and looking at the flames. Charles is quotes his father as saying this when he said he didn’t know the whereabouts of his mother; "Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives."
The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew."
The above is archetypal of a strong attitude and amazingly, it defined his altitude in life and carved a niche for him in the annals of not only science but of world history too.
There are several countless stories of hoping against hope that has turned into real success stories in the history of our race.
We are called to comfort others with the comfort that God Himself has comforted us too (2 Cor 1:3 – 4). There is a comforting voice comes and reveals our folly to us. Suddenly, we look out the window and see the stars shining so brightly and we forget the absent moon. We find an opportunity to reflect in our moments of ‘apparent’ loneliness. We see a dark world and we light our candles and shine (for a light placed on a candle cannot hide – Mat 5: 15, Luk 11: 33). We think outside of ourselves and radiate God’s beauty, his love and goodness unto others making their life wholesome, uplifting and virtuous too. Our misfortune seems to disappear into thin air when we head that voice of hope, the bird chirping out in the dark. God always has a message for us despite our obduracy at times. It may be the voice of a friend, a preacher man, a song or from reading from Holy Scripture. He promised never to leave us lonely in this world.
In our moments of darkness, let’s us not ask ‘why me.’ (That’s a harsh thing to say isn’t it?) “I tell you, no one who has lost a father, mother or sibling following me will forfeit his reward in the life to come” – Mat 19: 29.
Let’s us not get weary doing good. For the dark world around us only waits in earnest expectation of us. In expectation of us to shine bright as the stars do. We may not be noticed just as the stars sometimes fade from the skies (actually they don’t fade but because of the moon, we don’t see them always). We may not always be treated good in return for the good that we do (but let us remember even our master was rejected by his own even though he came unto his own)
We may be even victims of suspect for our good intentions but we should not tire doing the good that is in our hearts (indeed, God never tires forgiving our very own sins every day. We find His mercies new every morning! Yes, every morning despite our many failings that went by without us noticing them)
We hear them every day; plagued by war and disease, now flooding, protests and bombings, religious clashes and political rifts and hostilities.
Let us always remember, when the world seems awful and a bitter place, we are the salt of the earth. We are meant for seasoning the ‘bitter world’ and shining light in this dark age.
God bless you for your time and please remember; when the nights are dark and sinister, when the moon shines not in the skies and the world around you seems lonely; that is the time you have to light up your candle and shine so bright.
You may want to check out these stories later on;