When You’re Almost Out of Light

“I’m almost out of light,” he says. He’s sitting on the deck outside.

I want to add, “Me, too.”

Yet I don’t.

I hold it in. I say nothing. We’ve been in silent mode for about an hour already on this Friday night. He may have broken his silence, but I’m not ready to break mine yet.

But I do pull up a chair and sit outside beside him.

He is right. The light is fading. He finally closes his book. Not enough light to read by.

I look at the clouds, some dark, some wispy. All moving, all changing, leaving only pockets of light as the sun goes down in the west.

I shift in my chair and give a little. I speak. I mention I’ll go by the library tomorrow afternoon to return a book. He tells me about a frog he saw as he mowed the grass earlier.

Small talk. But it’s something.

The light continues to fade in the sky. A twinkle appears. I ask if it’s an airplane or a star. He says maybe a satellite.

Little by little, more stars appear. They’ve been there all along. They just couldn’t compete with the sun’s brilliance in the light of day. Now it’s their turn to shine.

He says he didn’t expect it to get dark so quickly.

Yeah, it can sneak up on you.

We don’t mention our heated discussion. We let it lie there, fade with the day.

It may rise up again in a new dawn, sometimes it does. But for now, we just let it go. An unspoken agreement as we stare at the stars and regain perspective of how small our problems are compared to the largeness of the universe.

I say I may go inside now and pop some popcorn. He says he may get a cup of ice cream. We enter the darkness of the house, flip a light switch, and resume our lives. Together, side by side.

Again in the light.

* * *

Relationships can be tricky. Certain issues we need to talk about again and again until they’re resolved. Other issues need to silently fade away and be forgotten. Wisdom means knowing which one is which.

As we get ready to touch our relationships with God and with other people in our Touch the Light 1 John 1 challenge, let’s notice God sending us sparks of light in whatever situation we’re in. Even on dark nights after the sun has set, the stars show up, one at a time, enough to see by until morning breaks again.


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Which relationships are hardest for you? Share in the comments.

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21 thoughts on “When You’re Almost Out of Light

  1. blankMartha J Orlando

    Even in the closest of relationships, we have those moments when we don’t see eye to eye, and can’t discern the light shining in spite of the dark place in which we are sitting. Beautifully expressed here, Lisa, as you leave us with the light of hope for a new day, a new beginning.
    Blessings!

  2. blankTea With Jennifer

    The beginning of this post Lisa took me back to sitting with my late husband on our verandah at the end of the day watching the sunset.
    As we did most days after a hard day’s work on our farm.
    The last few weeks of his life, those times were especially poignant & so very precious in silence.
    As we just wanted to enjoy our limited time together watching God end another day.
    He passed away within 12 weeks of diagnosis…I still miss those precious times with him on the verandah watching the sunset.
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

  3. blankLynn

    I love this imagery, Lisa. Our problems can seem to disappear when the stars appear. Enjoying those small, everyday moments together, especially in nature where God’s glory is seen in even the smallest of creatures such as a frog, can bring on a perspective that mends all.

  4. blankCorinne Rodrigues

    Just last night we had one of those arguments. But this time I didn’t let it slide. I prayed, thought and then started a discussion that was logical and in which we understood each other. Yes, there are some issues we must let go off – and others we must clarify.
    As usual you described this in such a beautiful way!

  5. blankLynn D. Morrissey

    Lisa, to me, your beautiful, poignant, thought-provoking essay read like a poem. So, with apologies to the author, I offer my buried-treasure poem that I discovered hidden below the surface.

    Some people call these “found poems.” I prefer my title :), which I teach in journaling classes. I presume you are familiar with these, but for those who aren’t who might take a gander, one underlines or circles words that simply resonate in the original composition. There may be no particular reason why you choose to highlight a word, but just sense being drawn to it. Then, you string them together and lineate them to form a poem.

    It becomes a new creation, but is inspired by the original author. Sometimes one must add a word for it to be sensical or potentially shorten a word, as I did here from “largeness to large,” and possibly make a tense change based on the new creation. Also, in this case, I grabbed words, not just from your essay, but from the final paragraph you offered in explanation. So what you will read is not exactly what happened to you, but which speaks to me in a new way and offers me further insight.

    But again, my sincere thanks to you, the original essayist, not just for what you shared, but what you inspired me to pen. And again, I so much appreciated the poetry I was hearing in your words. Thank you so much! (And I hope the line breaks & indentations appear as I intend them. I’m sorry that I can’t show words that I Italicized).

    Love
    Lynn

    Flipping the Switch
    by Lynn D. Morrissey

    I’m almost out of light.

    I don’t hold silent.
    I break beside him.
    Light is fading …
    not enough light.

    Clouds—moving, changing,
    leaving …

    I shift, give a little.

    I speak—it’s something.

    Light continues to fade,
    until a twinkle appears.

    More stars appear …
    Brilliance!

    He didn’t expect it to sneak up—stars that rise up like a new dawn.

    We let the unspoken stars help us to regain perspective—
    how our small problems compare to the large universe.

    We entered the darkness, but flipped a switch
    together,
    side by side,
    again in the light,
    enough to see by …

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      This is so amazing what you did here, Lynn! I need to try this myself sometimes. I love how you crafted this. I’m sorry your original formatting didn’t stick, but I definitely get the beautiful gist of your work. Thank you, friend!

      1. blankLynn D. Morrissey

        Thank you for your generous words, Carlie. And yes, by altering the original inspiration of our meaningful, gifted author, Lisa, one can see new insights. I love writing these “found” poems, as they are often called. I shared another with Lisa privately that I “found” in Dylan Thomas’s famous poem, “Fern Hill,” and drew out fresh insights that helped me worship God (though that is not the content of his poem). I have even “found” poems in articles. I wrote such a poem for a dear friend which I found in an old article of Victoria Magazine. Just go through the process I mentioned on a poem, an essay, a page from a novel, song lyrics, etc., and see what you unearth. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised, Carlie!
        Here’s to your creative excavation! 🙂
        Lynn

  6. blankLynn D. Morrissey

    Bah! No, the blog formatting changed all my tabs, etc. Ugh. So it really looks different from what appears here, and that does make a difference, but hopefully, you get the gist! 🙂
    L

  7. blankTheresa Boedeker

    This so portrays marriage and relationships with others. This silence and recalibration so you can reconnect and move on. This awareness that the thing that was so important might just not be the biggest thing in life. This getting comfortable with one another again and re-entering life together.

  8. blankMaryleigh

    This is beautifully said. I saw in it an agreeing to not give up, to trust, giving time to settle. Until either words can be better measured for using, or God reveals the tweaking needs.

  9. blankAnita Ojeda

    The relationships with those I love the most are the hardest. I easily forget that my people don’t have to (nor should they) think, act, believe, and react just like I do. Instead, I need to be a lifelong learner of those I love the most so I can love them better.

  10. blankCarlie

    ‘Perspective of how small our problems are compared to the largeness of the universe.’ Wisdom to allow God’s light to guide us into when to let go and when to follow through. And the beauty of being able to do life together side by side despite our ‘differences’ in the light of God. Simple, profound, beautiful. Thank you, Lisa!

  11. blankDonna

    Lisa, this so resonates with me, that uncomfortable, yet comfortable silence. That reticence to reconnect when the sting of a heated discussion remains fresh. Then there are those lost silences: my husband is struggling with early dementia that brings on a cold, dark silence isolating us from one another. Him trapped, unable to find a way out, me frustrated, sad, unable to find a way in.
    Yet somehow the Light returns, so like the darkest nights swallowed up by the dawn; no night ever lasts beyond the boundary set for it. Help me to always look for that Light, no matter how long the night.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Oh, Donna. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s early dementia. That must be so difficult. I began noticing my mother’s dementia when she was 62, which sounds younger and younger to me now that I’m 58. 🙁 Getting Alzheimer’s myself is one of my fears. I pray for your strength and for your perseverance as you bridge the dark spaces now and in the days ahead with your dear husband. Love you, my friend!

  12. blankLisa Blair

    Lisa, I appreciate how you brought the divine light and darkness of creation into play with the choices we make as humans that make way for life or death in our relationships/communications.

  13. blankLois Flowers

    Oh, Lisa … I’ve been there too, in the aftermath of an argument, when the talking just sort of quietly resumes. Your words make me grateful for a marriage that’s not perfect but endures, even when it’s hard. After 27 years I’m still learning to “let it go” when I need to! Thank you for sharing this, my friend.

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