God and Things that Go Bump in the Night

Click, click, clickety, tap-tap-tap, click, plunk.

The sound of fingers hammering a computer keyboard provided a lullabye on countless nights. After the kids went to bed and the house was settled, my dad would often go back to work at his home office. He was journalist in those days. Though he wasn’t the kind of journalist who needed to work late to cover breaking news. He worked for a trade magazine that published monthly. But writing editorials was part of his gig, and he must have found our quieted house a better environment for writing than his demanding office.

So I’m guessing that the late nights became his moments of clarity. And I, tucked snugly into my bed, would listen to him click away from the next room over.

That keyboard wasn’t an annoyance. One might think that the constant clicking and clunking would disturb a young sleeper. This was long before the days of “quiet keyboards”, and the clicking was quite loud–audible across the entire house, let alone the quiet room next door. But the sound did not disturb me.

Once I heard that symphony of keys, I would creep from settled covers, tiptoe across my room, and open the bedroom door a bit wider to let the flood of clicks infiltrate my darkened room.

Those clicks kept the monsters away. As long as I heard those clicks and clunks, I knew that Dad was up. I imagined him alert and ready to pounce on any inter-dimensional ne’er do well that might creep out of my closet. Those clicks didn’t leave any room for the bumps in the night. They drifted through the door and formed a shield over my bed, standing against invisible invaders.

I only got annoyed when the clicks stopped. Then the house became a little darker. Shadows grew longer. I heard the scary noises: little creeks that were surely the footfalls of malevolent gremlins or rushes of air that were the passing flights of banshees.

Mostly, I drifted off during the periods of clicking. It was the clickless nights that I stayed awake, fearful and annoyed by the quiet.

There are aspects of the Divine which seem annoying or intrusive, yet somehow gain different perspective from those who experience them. Is that your encounter with the Divine? Have you found yet that some of the “annoyances” are actually freeing? Do you find a sense of safety from the Divine’s intrusive presence?

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