Have you ever read The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis? My sister asked me to read them a few years ago and I am so thankful to her for it… I love these books!
In the book, The Horse and his Boy, Shasta is a little boy who is running away from the only home he has ever known and trying to get north to the free land of Narnia.
At one point in the story he has nearly reached his destination, but is left behind again because he can’t direct the horse he is riding. He is very tired and begins to feel so sad and so sorry for himself as he rides through a very dark night. What startles him out of his woe and sorrows is a sudden fright. He suddenly notices that someone is breathing right next to him in the darkness.
– From The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis
What put a stop to all of this was a sudden fright. Shasta discovered that someone or somebody was walking beside him. It was pitch dark and he could see nothing. And the Thing (or Person) was going so quietly that he could hardly hear any footfalls. What he could hear was breathing. His invisible companion seemed to breathe on a very large scale, and Shasta got the impression that it was a very large creature. And he had come to notice this breathing so gradually that he had really no idea how long it had been there. It was a horrible shock.
So he (Shasta) went on at a walking pace and the unseen companion walked and breathed beside him. At last he could bear it no longer.
“Who are you?” he said, barely above a whisper.
“One who has waited long for you to speak,” said the Thing.
The reason I am telling you about this is because it happened to me this morning. My husband is away and as I was waking up this morning I heard a quiet breathing in the darkness next to me. When I first heard it I lay in the darkness just listening to it and wondering who or what it was. Then I thought I must be hearing my own breathing so I held my breath for a moment and listened and it was still there, steady and quiet. My next thought was that one of my girls must have quietly come into my room in the middle of the night and was sleeping somewhere on the ground or in the bed. With that thought I sat up in bed to look around the room. There was no one else in the room with me.
I laid back down and listened to the breathing for a few more minutes before my alarm sounded to begin a hectic morning which made me quickly forget the sound of someone breathing by my side.
Later after everyone was off to school and I was finally sitting down to a cup of coffee, I remembered the breath in the darkness and I thought of Shasta and Alsan, the High King above all kings, breathing next to him in the darkness.
What if our sweet Jesus was here with me this morning as I was waking up? What if He was here waiting for me to acknowledge Him, talk with Him and ask Him what He would like me to do today?
I am sad that I missed my chance to whisper into the darkness, “Who are you?”, but thanks to Shasta’s example I hope I will not miss my opportunity next time.
We don’t sit quietly and listen enough my friends. He might be here with us more often than we realize and with all of the noise and distractions we have setup for ourselves there is no way we will ever hear His quiet breath as He patiently waits for us in the darkness.