Monday, August 14, 2006
Night Time is the Right Time.
It's three in the morning, the sultry, dog nights of summer in Japan are upon us. As I lie on my futon, an occasional slight breeze brings a hint of relief through the open window, but it is only teasing.
It's dark, that is the sun is on the other side of the world, but there is so much artificial light here that you hardly notice the moon let alone any stars.
Under our window a truck idles, it's driver who is 'working' snoozes in the air conditioned comfort of his cab.
At the LTL truck depot, kitty corner, as always, work goes on. Some nights they are not as noisy as other nights. This morning they aren't quite so exuberant in their toil, but they are making up for the lack of any big noise by a constant niggling of smaller noises. The jiggle of a forklift's cables, the bouncing of it's forks as it moves around the truck dock. Or the sound of yet another truck's diesels coming to life, the whoosh of air brakes, all of which seem to happen way out of proportion to the actual number of trucks in the dock at any one time.
The sound of a finely tuned motor cycle changing up through it's gears far too quickly for our little street, whining by just under our sixth floor window.
Looking at the city as if I were one of its ugly crows (making a Canadian crow look almost cute and petite, like a pet you'd name); looking down...
The beginnings of a Lord's prayer being offered up. Lazily filtering upward through the sweaty night, not unlike the steam that rises from a sewer grate in the dead of a Toronto winter, though immediately two things come to mind. The dissimilarity in temperature that such a metaphor construes, and the fact that the steam dissipates quite quickly in those low temperatures. No. In fact, similar to the contrast of temperature, this prayer is not dissipating as steam would, it is continuing to be offered, and heard. Hallowed be thy name. It joins with other's prayers continually being offered and heard. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Not just Japan, or Canada, but on earth in its entirety. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts. We ask for what we need most, and with much learning and practice can see the wider meaning of both. As we forgive our debtors. With our supplication comes responsibility. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Prayer is our shield.
From my perch, I wonder for a moment how many driftings of steam rise from this city. It may be the only one at three a.m. in Osaka, but probably not. And to step further along on that train of thought, together with Christians across not just city and country borders but also the borders of time, prayers constantly drifting Godward from all over this ball we live on.
Since my soul has not yet arrived, my body doesn't know it shouldn't be taking all this in, that it shouldn't be listening, let alone comprehending and pondering. Ahhh, the benefits of jetlag.