This is a story I did for faithwriters on the topic of “Day and Night”. Please tell what you think!
The sky was just turning a pale blue in preparation for the coming sun when Leah’s eyes slowly opened. Looking outside, she rolled quietly out of bed, stretched and walked over to the porch to watch her favorite part of the day. The birds twittered together in a small, early-morning symphony and Leah settled herself down under the raspberry bush by the steps to watch the sunrise.
But the twittering birds and sleepy flowers raising their heads didn’t bring a smile to her face like it did every other morning. The day before, Leah’s son Jason had come home, having run away two years earlier. Now, from all Leah could find out, his life was a wreck, his friendships in shambles and coming home was his last resort. That didn’t do much for Leah and her husband Jake’s dignity.
Leah drew in a shuddery breath and bowed her head, letting her copper hair fall over her face as she silently whispered a prayer to God.
“Dear Jesus, please be with Jason. Change his heart and show him the way back to you. He’s so confused, Lord. He’s just caught between good and evil, between day and night. Let your light break through, and let the sunrise be beautiful, Lord. Please . . .”
“Hi, Mom.” Leah quickly snapped her head up and turned around to see Jason standing behind her. Her little Jason. He was all grown up now, standing at least three inches taller than her. He had an ugly tattoo that stained his arm and the two rings that hung from his ear, but that didn’t do too much to change his appearance. The biggest difference was his face. It was hardened now. Indifferent. Distant. Cool. It broke Leah’s heart to see him looking at her like that. She swallowed quickly and turned, rubbing her eye a little.
“Good morning, Jason.” Silence. There were a few steps towards her and then Jason sat down on the step next to her. The birds were quieting down now and it was almost as if they were waiting to see what either of them would say. Leah glanced over at her son and his cold mask seemed to be slipping.
“I’m not mad at you, Mom.” There was silence for a moment. “You guys are fine. I’m just landing here for a bit so I can work out a new . . .”
“Life?” Leah interrupted. Jason looked annoyed, then folded his arms and leaned back on the porch.
“Jason, who are you mad at?” the question seemed to hover over Jason’s head, waiting to be answered. Jason sighed. “Are you mad at God?” Leah asked quietly. Almost imperceptibly, she saw his chin quiver.
“Mom?” he asked after a few seconds, “If God really cares for people, why does he let bad things happen? Why is there evil, sickness, death and pain?” Now it was Leah’s turn to have a question hover over her head. And hover it did, for quite a while.
“Jason,” She finally began, “Do you believe light exists?” He gave her a weird look,
“Yes, of course.”
“Does dark exist?”
“No it doesn’t.” Jason raised his eyebrows and sat up straighter. Leah pressed on,
“Darkness isn’t something, it’s the absence of something. The absence of light. You can have bright light, dim light, flashing light . . . any sort of light you can imagine, but if you take it away, you have nothing. The scientific name for that nothingness, that absence of light, is Dark.
“The same is true for God, Jason. Wherever there is good, wherever there is perfection and joy, there is God. Sin is just our name for what happened after the curse. Absence of God. God always, always has the best in mind for you. And even though things may get bad occasionally. He watches over his children and you just have to let the light inside you shine into the night of sin. He loves you so much, Jason, and I would love nothing better than to rekindle that little flame, that little light inside of you that you may shine for him.”
Jason kept his eyes fixed on the horizon throughout his mother’s speech, though he did blink quite a bit more than usual. When Leah finished, she looked over at him, trying to decode his expression.
“Mom?” asked Jason huskily, “Can we pray?”
The sun rose, but Leah’s smile shone brighter than any sunrise ever could.