My Life with God

The Beauty of Night

The forecast included up to 10 inches of snow. I was at my annual writing retreat, and we all took precautions. We typically stay at the house most of the week anyway, but it’s different when we think we won’t have the option to leave. We moved vehicles to strategic spaces, spread salt, and had plenty of supplies.

The snow was gorgeous as it began to fall. Soon the sun set, and we’d have to wait until the morning to assess the accumulation. But I was up late and looked outside. Of course, visibility was low, but I held my phone close to the window and snapped a picture.

As dark as the picture was, there was beauty in it. Even without much light, the branches looked stark and stable and the snow clung to every edge it could. The gridlines of the screen reminded me of the order of it all. I went to sleep, believing I’d see much more white in the daylight.

I did not. It was a wet, heavy snow that easily fell from its perches. Plus, not much more had fallen. Because the preceding days had been warm, much of the snow quickly faded into the ground. I was thankful to have experienced the beauty in the dark.

It’s not the first time I’ve had a similar thought. Whether it’s been encounters while driving at night or experiencing the goodness of God in the midst of chaotic, dark moments, I wouldn’t want to miss what I’ve seen in the dark. Sometimes limited visibility clarifies focus. Perhaps it’s because something is highlighted that would otherwise be obscured in the busyness of light. Perhaps it’s because I see a broader perspective since I can’t see some of the minute details.

We can become trapped in the dark when we reside there too long, when we’re driven into it for the wrong reasons of escape. But we shouldn’t avoid it altogether. If we do, we’ll miss out on some unique snapshots of beauty.

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