I am Aquainted with the Night


Good Friday Image by Joe Pastovich

Acquainted with the Night
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Robert Frost

I love the poetry of Robert Frost. At the end of Church this evening Christian and Bob brough before us a twelve-foot cross and filled it with candlelight. The light of the church was extinguished and before us was placed a very striking and moving painting of the crucifixion by Joe Pastovich. As all of the ornamental hangings and decor of the church was removed I could physically feel us moving into the night. As I fixed my eyes on the painting of jesus before us I was transfixed into the night and these words of Frost came back to me….

“I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street…”

This is such a powerful night. As a people of God we know that we are acquainted with the night. Good Friday is a day that we can with honesty of heart acknowledge that darkness is a part of life. Sadly, we must also acknowledge that we participate in that darkness. I pray that we all be held in tenderness through the long darkness of Good Friday. We all know people who have travelled through many Good Fridays. We enter into this one secure in the knowledge of what we are waiting for in three days. 

 I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

There is no need to explain… we merely enter into the darkness —- it is a place we must all journey from time to time….

3 thoughts on “I am Aquainted with the Night

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  1. It is human to want to avoid the darkness – to deny it , avoid it and yes run
    away from it- but as I read aloud the Narration during the Stripping of the Altar last night , i became more strongly aware that we cannot and must not.
    We must face it and pass through it and as we do be strong and remember
    that God will see us through . There is always light again.

    1. So true. These liturgies and the words found within them hold such pomerful meaning and permit us to journey through the darkness to a place of inexprssible light.
      Thanks for your help with that last evening — it was Masterfully Done!!
      Now we look forward to the Great Easter Vigil

  2. Without the darkness, we would not know, understand the sacrifice of love. Christ’s love without the sacrifice would not mean as much, would not change the world or at least some of it. Resurrection Sunday would not would not hold the meaning that it does. We would not havve great paintings, poetry, literature. There is a cost, but how beautiful the journey and the sunlight. And to be able to recognize and share the brokenness in others and help each other.Yes, we must pass through it but we are not alone. Christ is Risen. Hallelujah!

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