Usually, after turning out that forgotten barn light, I sit on the edge of the tractor bucket for a few minutes and let my eyes adjust to the night outside. City people always notice the darkness here, but it’s never very dark if you wait till your eyes owl out a little….
I’m always glad to have to walk down to the barn in the night, and I always forget that it makes me glad. I heave on my coat, stomp into my barn boots and trudge down toward the barn light, muttering at myself. But then I sit in the dark, and I remember this gladness, and I walk back up to the gleaming house, listening for the horses.
~Verlyn Klinkenborg from A Light in the Barn
Inside the barn the sheep were standing, pushed close to one
another. Some were dozing, some had eyes wide open listening
in the dark. Some had no doubt heard of wolves. They looked
weary with all the burdens they had to carry, like being thought
of as stupid and cowardly, disliked by cowboys for the way they
eat grass about an inch into the dirt, the silly look they have
just after shearing, of being one of the symbols of the Christian
religion. In the darkness of the barn their woolly backs were
full of light gathered on summer pastures. Above them their
white breath was suspended, while far off in the pine woods,
night was deep in silence. The owl and rabbit were wondering,
along with the trees, if the air would soon fill with snowflakes,
but the power that moves through the world and makes our
hair stand on end was keeping the answer to itself.
~Tom Hennen “Sheep in the Winter Night” from Darkness Sticks to Everything: Collected and New Poems.
There is so much about this world I don’t understand – headline news of each day seems to cause more questions and a sense of even deeper mystery. There are times when I feel all my hairs rising in gooseflesh at my privilege of being alive witnessing history as it plays out now, and wondering where it will lead to.
I don’t have to have answers now to appreciate the mystery of the gift given to me each day.
Half a lifetime ago, I was far more confident of the extent of my learned knowledge after so many years in school and training; now I am far more content about knowing there is much I will never understand.
All shall be revealed in the fullness of time.
And time is getting fuller by the minute.
I want to know why too many are taken from us too young, why there is persisting darkness and evil causing us fear and suffering, why we stumble and fall and fail before we can ever consider flying. I want to know why we can’t trust one another or trust God when there are simply things that can’t be known yet.
Most of all I need faith that God has my life and your life in His hands. His power moving through our hearts is real and true and trustworthy even if we don’t know all the answers to our questions yet.
So like sheep, huddled and frightened, we wait for our Shepherd’s voice to tell us what comes next. He leaves the light on for us when we are overwhelmed by the darkness.
Make a one-time or recurring donation to support daily Barnstorming posts
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is deeply appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly