The Bible says Christians are to live in the world, but not be of the world, and each day proves to be a challenge to do just that. My responses aren’t always as ‘lit for Christ’ as they should be in my last 40 days and 40 nights, I decided to start off my journey to 40 being intentional about shining the light that Matthew 5:14-16 speaks of so very clearly. “Be the Light” is our church’s theme so why not kick off my 40 in decency and order, right? Right.
What I wasn’t prepared for was to be awakened around 1 AM by my baby boy, asking what happened to the lights. Now, three quick thoughts went through my mind almost simultaneously: 1) I KNOW they didn’t cut my power off without a pink envelope, 2) It does seem super dark, and 3) what is going to happen to all of my food I just purchased?
Just like moms do, I reassured BK that everything would be just fine. He assumed his position in my bed as I used the cellphone flashlight to scurry over to the box with the fuses in it and determined that: 1) No fuses had been triggered, and 2) my cellphone battery is already at 20%.
What makes it so uncomfortable is that I hear nothing: no air condition, no fridge noises, nothing. But that’s ok because clearly God already had a plan. I got my cellphone out and started to navigate the balances and found that I did have a small past due balance, and I took care of that immediately. Yup, its still in the 1am hour. It was only after that that I ventured over to outages report to find that I was not alone. There were 20 other homes in my community with the same dilemma. They estimated time to restore power was just an hour. Praise God! So I instructed BK to go back to sleep because the report says they are working on the power. He obeyed without delay and soon I heard the melodious sounds of his allergies. I, however, laid in the bed worrying about my food, being able to wake up on time since my phone is on low battery already, and just simply unsettled.
Finally, I mustered a nap for an hour or two and awakened around 4 am, normal body clock time, to check the status. Not only were the lights not on, but the estimated time now moved to 5:30 am, which was cool, because I really don’t start stirring around with the children until that time anyway.
5:30 am quickly approached and STILL no lights. There wasn’t even a sun to shine yet, so I went to the door and looked out to see the neighbors across the street… with their lights! Now I’m pissed off! Why do they get to have lights and we don’t! As I step out a little further, I start to hear motors and see lights from a truck. Pepco had arrived and was working down in the area of our power source, I suppose. Ok, now that gave me a little hope because I can see them working on it. I didn’t have to just believe the report anymore.
Getting the children up is already a chore indeed, but this time was even more of an event, but they are all scouts so they are used to getting dressed and undressed in the dark. What bothered me the most was trying to make sure there was an even amount of candle light in each room. I couldn’t use the expensive camping lantern, because someone thought it was more necessary to remove the batteries for their personal pleasures (PlayStation and remote controls), instead of leaving them where they belonged for emergencies. I couldn’t even get ma, though. Not at that time. It’s time to get clean, get fed, get covered, and get going.
While baby boy, BK, and I were having breakfast, he said, Mommy are the lights back on yet? Now we are clearly sitting in the dark, but he is asking me if the lights are back on. I answered and he then said, ‘Well why do I keep hearing the alarm beep’? After a silent three seconds I then understood why he thought the lights may be back on. I explained to him that the alarm system runs on a backup generator, so even when we do lose power in the whole house, it still has a way to protect us when we can’t see. (I’m preaching right now, by the way).
Soon the sun was up and I could open the front door and shades for more light. Thank you, Lord, for the Sun. I still, however, had to use the candles in the basement to navigate, but I found comfort in my mind and body relating to my bedroom configurations, such that I was able to walk through various parts of my room, in the dark, with little to no incident. I remembered my path and automatically took the correct steps and turns.
Walking to the car was a different experience, however, because when we walked out of the house, our eyes felt like they were being burned by the Sun even at 6:20 am. You see, we were in the darkness so long that when we finally reunited with full light, we felt blinded by our presence in it. Our eyes needed time to adjust. We finally arrived at my parent’s house for a much larger breakfast, prayer and send off for the day. Lights returned around 10 am.
So here are a few nuggets to summarize my morning in darkness that blessed me:
• You will be put in positions of darkness; Be the Light and teach your children about how Life in the Light works
• Be comfortable in silence – Let God speak to you in quiet whispers, turn that mess off at night and be available to Him
• You are not alone – Find comfort in knowing that wherever you are, you aren’t the first and won’t be the last, so go ahead and start crafting your testimony. Bless someone through your storm.
• Preserve your Power Source – Know your Word; You don’t have time to look for it in the dark. Hide those words in your heart
• Backup Generators keep your mouth, thought life, and actions in order – You better know God’s provisions and promises for yourself! That is where peace lives!
• Know Your Path – Proverbs 3:6 – And keep your room clean, so you don’t have to step over stuff to get out in case of emergency
• Have that Bryant Keith Faith, sight unseen – He didn’t ask a question, check an email, or what anyone else had. His mommy told him that all was well. Why can’t you immediately obey your Father? It is well with my soul.
• Don’t get flustered about what someone else has. What God has for you is for YOU.
• Wait patiently – God could care less about your time schedule or appointments
• When you stay away from Him too long, you will have some discomfort before reuniting with your Light work