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  • ninacrutchfield

Darkness Closes In

Darkness closes in and torches burn around us casting eerie shadows from the trees in the garden. By day, the space is an oasis. At night, it feels like evil is waiting at the edges.

You kneel to pray. I cannot hear what you are saying but I can tell you feel pain. Your face is contorted and furrowed. It occurs to me, I do not know if I have ever seen you frown. You are always loving and laughing. It hurts me to see you this way.

I feel the pull of sleep but fight it. Simon, James, and John are already asleep beside me. (Mark 14:37) Why did you ask us to come out here with you tonight? Everything you did tonight was so cryptic and I cannot understand it all.

You are walking around now, looking up, I assume you are talking to God. Father, you tell us to call him. I am struck by your features. I see so much of your mother's face when I look at you, her nose, her eyes. How much of Joseph is in you? I know he was your adopted father so I don't expect you to look like him but I wonder what attributes, what habits, you picked up from him.

Do you carve because he taught you? Do you like to sit with the night fire because he did? Is it his gentle hand I see you offer to the followers when they stumble while walking from village to village?

You are coming to check on us, to see if we are still awake. I admit I am in the state of half-awake-half-asleep as my consciousness registers your features rather than praying with you.

As you walk another short distance away, my flesh is weak and I sleep completely now. Please do not be angry. Dreams of you are a wonderful companion. Forgive me, Lord, for failing to keep watch with you.

The stained glass window is in the Dallas Cathedral. The photo was taken by Andreas Praefcke.

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