Thursday, October 11, 2012

the dark hours...

I’m a night person by nature. I’m usually happier and more alive during the dark hours. I’ve worked hard to stop cursing the mornings (because God told me I had to)…and to embrace them as much as I can. But when given the chance…my heart does convert back to its dark hour lovin self. 
In the dark hours I tend to find peace and faith…answers to the deep questions of my heart...have some of the most intimate moments with God.....but also, crazy, fun, loudness, laughter, and adventures (when I can find those like-minded to join me…)

In my early 20’s I had a friend who deeply shared this love of the dark hours. He too, would be full of life and adventures in those wee hours of the night.

In the dark hours, when the phone would ring after 1:00 a.m.…I’d know it was my friend calling to chat and see what’s going on. And if I didn't get to the phone in time…I’d automatically call him back. (much to the dismay of his asleep-by-9:00 pm-roommate)

In the dark hours, when my crazy roommate (also a lover of the night) and I decided it would be the prime time to start moving our stuff to our new apartment…he showed up to help with our Midnight Move. 

It was in those dark hours, that mass kool-aid was consumed…ridiculous tv was a must…games were played...practical jokes abounded…and furniture became acrobatic jungle gym equipment. (he had far too much energy to ever sit still for more than 45 seconds at a time)

It was in dark hours when I first told him and his roommate that God was drastically shifting my life…and I was surrendering to whatever He had for me, including missions….and that I wanted to live in the heart of the Middle East. And his reaction was far from expected. 
It was in the darker hours of that night, he called to apologize for his poor reaction and told me he was just caught off guard. He said something about how he couldn't imagine ever wanting to do anything like that, and was concerned for my safety…but that he would try to support me in anything I felt like God was saying…if I really felt that strongly about it.

It was in the dark hours I stood in his front yard a month later and said a tearful goodbye to him and his roommate because I was leaving for a mission school the next morning. But I knew in my heart we’d always stay in touch…to at least some degree. 

It was close to dark hours…many years later…that we were able to catch up in person again…and laugh until our bellies hurt…sharing stories with his wife about how life was way back when…
And it was in the darker hours of that night…that I stood in the front of the school they were attending, and said another tearful goodbye…because he and his family were about to move to another country...pursuing the call God had placed on their lives…in a far greater way than I had ever even imagined for myself. 
And in the darkness, as I drove home…I couldn't stop smiling, and softly laughing, at how radically things had changed and what God can do with a person’s life when we let Him…

But a few years later...right now, the dark hours seem...too dark.  

It's in these darkest hours…where I am at a loss for sleep...

It's in these darkest hours I can’t help but lay awake and wonder…and pray…for my friend on the other side of the world...

It's in these darkest hours, I’m constantly watching my phone…waiting and hoping it announces that an email update has arrived...

Because my friend is facing what I can only imagine, to be the deep darkest hours of his life.

It's been a week since life was drastically pulled back into perspective.

It’s been a week since the gov't authorities took him in for questioning.

It’s been a week since anyone’s been able to see or speak to him.

No answers. Only unknown.

We do believe he’s safe. But the waiting…and the unknown of the present and the future…have been almost unbearable.

To be connected to the part of the population that’s passionate, radical, and sold out for God, I've heard this kind of story all too often. I've spent countless time in prayer for people in similar situations…strangers…friends of friends…someone in the community……but this…this is much, much too close to home.

I can only pray that this darkness quickly ends…and the dawn would break…and that the light would bring the hope and answers we so desperately need and are crying out for.

Please join me in praying for him and his family. For safety, for peace and comfort, for release, that others would remain safe, protected, and hidden. And so importantly-  for God’s ultimate purpose to be fulfilled. He and his family are where they're supposed to be.
Because my friend is someone who is bringing light to darkness.

Your kingdom...come quickly...
your will be done the same...
On earth, as it is in heaven.

[Our Father lyrics]

*Please…if you know my friend, don’t mention any names, locations, or details in the comment section. Thank you. 

***Update. I'm sorry I didn't share this much, much, sooner....but after 21 stress-filled friend was escorted from the prison directly to the airport where he and his family were put on a plane and forced to leave the country. My heart broke for them with the sudden shift of life forced upon them....but I am so eternally grateful God faithfully delivered them out of their troubles. And I am sure and confident that He will continue to direct their path....