There’s a pocket of the night where you can see into another world. When I’m working the swing shift, watching over those who sleep, and the moon covers the earth in a silver sheen, I’m able to see through the darkness that normally threatens to morph into nightmares. I walk along the edge of a forest and see that most of the glowing eyes are not harbingers of doom. They aren’t one with the night, but have form of their own. Some of them slink along ditches and the creek bed, watching me for any sign of threat.

A word fills me: “I AM with you always.” I relax and go forward.

I meet some of those shapes who are lined with a white stripe of stink. They skitter around like lying politicians, threatening to defame those who disagree with them. I give them a wide berth, for here is a real threat; not of bodily harm, but how others will find me offensive due to another’s deception. I watch as they find their way to the dumpster.

This is my part-time job, holding down the fort and walking into the night while people slumber. It’s good, and bad, and certainly a different world in the moonshine. It’s kind of like my friend’s story. She calls herself a recovering (religion I won’t name). She said 100_1071she grew up in this church, believed in Jesus, knew who He was, but not until years later while she sat in a different place did she realize that knowing who Jesus is and knowing Him were two different things.

That revelation made all the difference. It was as if she stripped away the distractions that live under the sun, to finding His voice in the night. She now knows peace in the midst of trial, hope when all seems hopeless. “It’s like having a curtain removed from your eyes”, she said.

I think about this as I move on to the gazebo.

A raccoon fishes in the pond. He peeks at me for a small moment. He must recognize me and remember that I have a soft spot for his type of mask because he turns back to his fishing. He is bold and beautiful…I’m not sure that he isn’t an angel in disguise, keeping company with those of us that tread through the dark. I move on.

The flag whips around when a gust blows in. Its edges are tattered, but it never puts down its guard. As I look at this symbol that some salute and some defame, I understand why so many people think Jesus-followers are skunks. Those who speak in His name without really knowing him tend to repel people. I’m sure they mean well, and even intend to walk in goodness.

But you’ve got to be willing to follow Him despite the tattered and dark places, and for that, you really have to get to know Him.
Otherwise, the creatures who think I’m a threat, become the threat, and the night becomes one, big nightmare.

How do you enter this pocket of the night where raccoons might be angels?

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:8

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