Dance of the Night

Dave Smith

Darkness settles, a grey to black dust dusking the yard into an evening playground of pesky mosquitos, songful cicadas, shy rabbits, and feeding bats.  I wait, a patience learned for this month, a patience awaiting the dance.  This audience of one remembers station wagon rides of youth to see the hay field “come alive” with the silent music and move with the rhythm of blinks growing into a euphony of firefly frantaculous flits and winks.  And so it goes with the yard.  One, two and to a tumult of play, of dance, of firefly magic in the night.  These occasions require stare, insist on watching the acts of the play, the individual scenes played out until the wings tire out and the night remains.  Just a twink or two here and there – and the euphony ends to the unknown ovation of a passing car out front, a horn honked by a key fob locking doors, and a wayward, way past the Fourth firework pop on a distant lawn.

This July summer play gives way to ponderings.  As I rock in the deck swing, made for two but thoroughly enjoyed by my one-ness, I capture the drift of thinks.  The Holy Spirit seems to join me, points me to imagining “laying it all at the foot of the cross.”  My left brain wants to know how this think connects to fireflies, but the right brain wins and I roll with it.  Last week’s sermon spoke to this point, to placing worries, health, relationships, family, whatever at the foot of Jesus’ cross.  I think all Christians try to do this.  After all, this concept holds the core of faith, trust that in Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension I have assurance of God’s love and grace.  Bouncing around my brain I realize this act of “putting” at the cross really seems pretty easy.  The faith that God will respond presents a bit stickier step in the sand of troubles.  His will does not always include my want or way.  Still more difficult is understanding that, if I make the faith stride, I also have some action to take.  I have said to many that I believe faith exists as a verb.  If I have a health issue, a real fear of survival, I place that fear in God’s hands.  I am tempted to then go into cruise control – God’s got it, I don’t need to do anything more. I do need to act, I do need to seek the professional help God has put in my path, do need to address my habits that interfere with healthy life, do need to continue prayer, and do need to be thankful in praise for God’s assurance that He is guiding my way.  If death comes, my home is assured in eternity.

The fireflies draw me back. The darts have declined to a gentler lift and fall, an easier roll and sway fading into the tall, dark of the pines, into the arms of the maple across the fence.  I swush a pesky pointed peck at my arm, another on my leg.  Uprising of the state’s insect intrudes into the curtain call of the dance.  Beauty dispelled in annoyance.  So it goes with God.  I want immediate results – I want the dance of Him in my immediate moment’s need.  I sit and wait for it.  Did I get up and open the door?  Did I, in “where are you Lord” thinks, miss His response?  Did I forget to join the dance?  Living faith.  I see it now, in that waning glimmer of blinks.  The cicadas twrill goodnight and the rabbit, well, it just meanders a bit, a little, grey fur ball of hop-a-long that instinctively feels safe.  In the light of God, so am I, so are we.  Safely placed at the foot of the cross and assured that our actions are guided by God’s will – if we but act.