In The Dead Of Night: A Stranger’s Pain

I awoke with a start. Rivulets of sweat coursed through my hair strands and I was sure that I would pass out from the heat that enveloped me.

It was almost 10 p.m. and our standing fan had abruptly stopped running. I glanced through the open glass louvres to my right and discovered that the street lamps on the main thoroughfare were off as well… power outage in 100-degree heat. On a windless night, this was not my idea of a good time.

I shuffled toward the living room to find DH already making the report to the power company. It would be a long night…

Another four hours would pass before the power returned, and I spent the time engaged in vigorous fanning, excessive splashing of rubbing alcohol, and prayer to God for deliverance.

Yes. My aversion to heat is that serious…

In the minutes leading up to midnight, a small section of the community came alive with male chatter. A group of young men traded stories a short distance from our home and I became an invisible witness to their collective heart sorrow.


Steeped as I was in my own sweat-filled misery, I drifted in and out of consciousness, wanting to sleep but too tortured to do so, as one young man lamented the absence of a father’s guidance throughout his childhood. One of his companions interrupted the flow and declared that his own father had died… as if to say that his pain was somehow greater… more deserving of a mention.

Yet another voice launched into the murky waters of fatherless grief: “You’re lucky. At least your father is dead. Mine is alive, but I don’t know him.” The bitter tone of his utterance told me that what really hurt was not the fact that he did not know his father, but that his father made no attempt to know him.

The approaching midnight hour had nothing on the ‘night’ that enveloped his soul. His bitter grief was palpable.

Between splashes of rubbing alcohol, I sent up a prayer for the hurting young men who uncovered wounds beneath a cloak of night. May they one day come to know…

“… [T]here is a Father who is also Friend; a Father who can be trusted with [our hearts] and who rejoices over [us] with singing (Zephaniah 3:17); a Father who is much more than a cold and distant benefactor… who gets down and dirty in the trenches with [us] and stays close when the missiles roar from enemy ranks. His Shadow is the ultimate safe zone (Psalm 91)… Almighty God. Everlasting Father. Creator. Sustainer. Redeemer. Friend… OUR Father.”

Are you among the ‘fatherless’? I pray that our God will reach into your broken circumstances to bring about healing and grant you unspeakable joy.

Be ever so abundantly blessed.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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