Surprises and darkness

Breakfast in bed was one of our better ideas. One of my housemates, Kristin, had a birthday yesterday, so we brainstormed last week how we should celebrate. Kristin was, of course, absent, so the possibility of a surprise was within reach.

So, we met in the kitchen yesterday at 7. Because it was 7 in the morning, there is no photographic evidence. But it still happened.

Zoe made bacon. She’s discovering that the longer you leave it in the pan, the darker it gets. Also, bacon grease makes bacon look less done than it is.

Liesel and I made pancakes. Kirsten and Mia wrote a poem (of the highest quality that one can muster at that hour…) and made a beautiful card.

We tried to make the plate beautiful. It kind of worked.


So, yeah, maybe the “21” looks like “29” and the star and heart of chocolate syrup got smooshy. This is where the thought really is what counts.

Here’s the best part: we crept upstairs (we’d closed the kitchen door and tried to keep all smells and sounds from wafting upstairs… which resulted in a lot of smoke in the kitchen, so we were worried about the fire alarm going off, but it turns out we don’t have one of those downstairs, so it was okay! also, we’ll be careful not to set fires downstairs), carefully opened Kristin and Kirsten’s bedroom door, and all sneaked in. It was dark in there, and Kristin didn’t wake up when we came in.

We’d planned to sing to wake her up, but our success at getting in unnoticed surprised us, I think. Plus, the room was dark, which made it seem a little creepy to just start singing. We paused for a moment, hidden in the darkness and Kristin unawares.

I was thinking about Psalm 139 yesterday, at one of the many junctures in my day where I question the future and wonder what curveball is coming my way next.

Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me. 

You know when I sit and when I rise.

You discern my going out and my lying down.

You are familiar with all my ways.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go to the heavens, you are there.

If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I fly on the wings of the dawn,

If I settle on the far side of the sea,

Even there your hand will guide me,

Your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, surely the darkness will hide me

And the light become night all around me,

Even the darkness will not be dark to you.

The night will shine like the day,

For darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being,

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

We don’t often intend to wander into darkness, do we? I picture my future with clarity, fully illuminated. Any darkness–whether that of uncertainty or difficulty–is absent. Perhaps sometimes we make our beds in the depths, fully aware of what we’re doing, in rebellion, but most often we walk into darkness without intending to.

The darkness is not dark to God. I most often thought of this passage in terms of a person trying to run from God (unsuccessfully), but I think that missed the point. Now I think the psalmist is imagining what could separate him from God. Could darkness? Would it hide him? And he concludes that darkness is as light to God because he is known by God.

When I don’t know what I’m doing because I can’t see, God sees.

This isn’t profound, is it? It’s something we’ve known all along because we know that God is capable of seeing what we cannot and knowing what we cannot about all situations. We know this, but then we also know that when we find ourselves in darkness, we wonder if anyone knows what’s going on. We didn’t see it coming.

Yeah, so we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. God knows what’s going on, all the time.

“Happy birthday to you…” We started singing, and Kristin stirred. After we finished singing, we turned the lights on so she could see the beautiful pancake platter. We read her the poem. She was delighted.

Birthday surprise was successful, unthwarted by lack of light.


2 thoughts on “Surprises and darkness

  1. That was such a creative and generous thing to do for your friend! It looks like it all went down successfully and she appreciated the gesture of love and admiration! Nice writing, as always, as well!

  2. Pingback: Burned toast saves the day. | Wading in Words

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