In the evening the stars are still dull. A light mist seems to block all but the most strident. At two thirty in the morning, however, the stars are gathered for a feast, countless bright spots in their little cliques, circling in the universe on a trek just short of eternal. In the morning, the bright blue skies block the stars above, but there is no loss, as the sun bathed fall forest bursts forth in manifold beauty, every leaf, every shrub, every trunk, every speck of dark earth proclaim a distinct call of the Divine, each aspect an ornate brush stroke, purposeful and profound.

I know the look of the stars at two thirty because that’s when I woke up. I woke up completely awake, having suspected I would. I felt it even when I went to sleep that God would have a conversation with me during the night. So he called me out, and we chatted for a while, at first in my room, then for a longer while as I sat underneath the spreading branches of an oak and took note of the many stars and great silence of the early morning.

I prayed for my own status, for wisdom, for direction, for counsel. I prayed for others, those who I know very well, and more curiously for those who I feel called to pray for even when I don’t know them well according to natural means. I prayed for those who touched my soul in that early hour, and sought God’s wisdom and peace on their behalf, though they likely would never know of my early entreaties, and I may never know how he is working within them. But, all is in God’s hands, that which we see and do not see, that which is far and that which only seems far. This renewal of prayer is maybe even more momentous than my recent recovery of a writing sense, and they are likely related. God is calling, and I am learning to answer, still with stumbling and tripping, but more fluidly, trusting that the God who calls is indeed worth answering. Even, especially, in those silent hours of the early morning when the stars alone hold court.

I turn my eyes to the mountains;

From where will my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot give way;

your guardian will not slumber;

See, the guardian of Israel

neither slumbers nor sleeps!

The Lord is your guardian,

the Lord is your protection

at your right hand.”