Curtain of Darkness

When Sunlight glows through the curtains, I can sometimes catch the breeze making fabric jellyfish swaying with the slightest movement in the room.  It’s as if the sun can even make the curtains come alive with its unrestrained glow.  The energy quietly pouring through the windows makes my insides light up like a lightning bug with no off switch.  I pretend the sun has secretly seeped into my body through every exposed cell that it touches.  Light meets life.  Watching the sunlit curtains shimmy through the afternoon is like seeing God’s warm brown sun-flicked eyes wink at me with a smile.  You are beloved.  I like thinking of God like that—using curtains to get my attention. 

Pilots use a term called the “curtain of darkness” when flying at dusk and into the night.  In an unusual set of events, I was on a private plane on my way to Colorado for some meetings.  Entering the cabin, I did my where-am-I-going-to-sit-scan of the plane and realized that being the first one on the plane has its advantages.  And being the last one on the plane leaves you with the tiny seat next to the cockpit facing the door (not facing the front of the plane like the other seats).  Oh well, less talky talk over boring bore topics and more quiet time for me.

As dusk was closing in, the pilots invited me to look out of the front of the plane to experience one of the most striking skies I have ever seen.  While an orange sunset brushed the view with colors that must be declared as holy (or magical… or something), I was distracted by how the darkness was closing in.  It wasn’t subtle like the color was fading to dark gray. Instead it was a distinguishable line that separated the light from the dark.  The curtain of darkness happens as a result of the earth casting a shadow into the sky and blocking the sun as it sets.  We’re cant see it from ground level, but from 35,000 feet, the world looks different.   

Instead of thinking of the dark curtain as a thief stealing color from the sky, I found it beautiful and enchanting.  Like the curtains in my sunlit windows, this seemed to have a place in this world with its quiet but steady advancement. How can you shame the earth for her wide hips blocking the sun each evening? 

There’s a place for steady and quiet darkness in our lives—where the curtain is pulled back each evening to reveal the relationship between what we keep hidden and what radiant colors we let shine. It reveals that we’re both not as great and wonderful as we think we are and we’re greater and more wonderful than we can imagine. 


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