“Somewhere in the night a child cries,
A woman weeps and someone dies.
Somewhere in the night, humanity hides.
Somewhere in the night, a soul screams.
As people fade and die, lost in dreams.
Somewhere in the night, reality lives.
Somewhere in the night loneliness dwells
As people die, no sounding bells.
Somewhere in the night, she dies alone.
Somewhere in the night…
Where is the light?”
– “Somewhere in the Night” by Marilyn (user at www.netpoems.com)
Have you ever laid in bed and wondered what was happening “somewhere this second…”? I know I have…
When I was a small child, my father worked third shift at his job. My mother would allow me to crawl up on to their bed in his absence, and we would often lie awake and talk into the wee hours of the morning. Ever the inquisitive girl, I would ask almost nightly, “Mommy, what time is it right now in China?”. My mother would then proceed to calculate an estimate to satisfy my curiosity. I was fascinated by the fact that “somewhere this second”, while I was lying inside in the darkness, there was another little girl halfway around the globe playing outside in the sunshine.
As I have grown into adulthood, I no longer have a drilling curiosity about the time in China. (I assume it was more fun asking my mom to calculate the difference for me then as opposed to looking it up on my smartphone myself now!) Still, I do often lie in bed and meditate somberly about what is happening “somewhere this second”. Sometimes I think about:
As I lay in bed, it often occurs to me how healthy and whole my soma (body) is. I lie next to my husband in a comfortable bed in a temperature controlled room. I have little to no aches or pains. I am at ease physically.
But what about “out there”? Somewhere this second, someone’s soma is suffering…
Somewhere this second, someone lies in a hospital bed with broken bones after surviving a car accident. Someone with cancer receives another excruciating round of chemotherapy. Someone has lost a limb fighting for our freedom overseas.
Somewhere this second, someone is vomiting for their third day in a row of having the flu. Someone’s virus-infected body is racked with coughs. Someone is holed up in a dark room struggling with a migraine.
Somewhere this second, a man’s body aches after hours of hard labor for his family. A woman winces as she looks at her bruises in the mirror after her husband’s angry drunken episode. A baby is violently removed from the safety of his mother’s womb due to abortion.
The Lord is concerned about each person’s soma. I too, will have concern.
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. – Hebrews 13:3
Sometimes I think about:
As I lay in bed, it often occurs to me how happy and whole my soul is. I lie next to my husband enjoying a loving marriage and a fulfilling life. I have few regrets behind me or challenges before me. I am at ease emotionally.
But what about “out there”? Somewhere this second, someone’s soul is suffering…
Somewhere this second, someone is going through a divorce they never wanted in the first place. Someone is sitting in a waiting room while their loved one is dying. Someone is being betrayed by their friend.
Somewhere this second, someone is depressed because they feel that no one loves them. Someone is hating every second of their dead-end job. Someone is watching their home burn to the ground.
Somewhere this second, a man is feeling beaten down and incompetent because of a wife who belittles and berates him. A woman who has been raped is weeping alone in the darkness, afraid to tell anyone of her (undeserved) newfound shame. A child is longing for the day he/she can be emancipated and move far away from the loveless home of father and mother.
The Lord is concerned about each person’s soul. I too, will have concern.
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. – Psalm 82:3-4
Sometimes I think about:
As I lay in bed, it often occurs to me how holy and whole my spirit is. I lie next to my husband in the joyful security that I have been made righteous through Christ’s atonement. I know where my eternal home is as I continue walking in His light. I am at ease spiritually.
But what about “out there”? Somewhere this second, someone’s spirit is suffering…
Somewhere this second, someone doesn’t yet know the Lord. Someone is giving up their faith in God after suffering a hardship. Someone is walking out on the church and never looking back.
Somewhere this second, someone is doubting the existence of a divine Creator. Someone is cursing God with their words and their lifestyle. Someone is believing the error someone spoon-fed them instead of investigating scripture for themselves.
Somewhere this second, a man dies without obeying the gospel. A woman is in church alone, while her husband stays home. An innocent child believes his parents when they say that Jesus is only make-believe; the Bible only a fairy tale.
The Lord is concerned about each person’s spirit. I too, will be concerned.
And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. – Jude 22-23
When you lie in bed, take a few moments once in a while to consider what is happening “somewhere this second”.
Ruminations such as these serve two purposes:
1. To build in us a solemn gratitude for the good moments in our own lives. We all will experience hardships in life to some extent, as it is the fallen nature of our world. We would do well to cherish the good times as they come to us, and not take them for granted.
2. To build in us a genuine compassion for others in distress. We may not be able to go out and solve all the problems in the world, but by taking somber note of them, we are more aware and eager to help when such opportunities present themselves.
My childhood question has grown from “what time is it in China?” to “what times are they having in China?”.
And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life…” – 2 Corinthians 1:7-8
For God’s glory,
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.