There'll be no dark valley



You see allegory everywhere when the world is cloaked in the new mystery again, as things you thought were true crash down about you and new structure is going up and everything is hazy because of injury and loss and grief and pain.  When cancer is back again, bigger each time, threatening; when going to the bathroom at night feels like a scene from "Where the Wild Things Are" (let the rumpus begin); when your heart flip-flops afresh to a mechanical beat like a bad '80's house jam; when you can't squeeze your children or cook your meals or pack your bags for a trip you want to go on/don't want to embark on.  Then daisies in harsh sidelight on your sacred marriage bed are haunted, and you think about the curse and evil, and God and good, and discipline and persecution.  You see the vivid yellow and you see the yellow shadow, and you see the black holes of the hand-built bed your brother made you and they feel like eyes that have been watching and judging and see you now and know you know.  The oak is something solid to die on when head hits as heart stops.

And then your realize the daisies are fake, and the milk bottle is just an old treasure, and the bed is a place of comfort.  And go to get your camera anyway.  You realize that the allegory, and the persecution, and the constant debate between good and evil that is like two vivid voices in your head right now...it's all just distraction.  Put hand back to plow.  Quit looking so deep and find a way to healing.  Daisies in harsh sidelight will be gold streets soon enough.  Stomp down the fear that comes creeping, and turn on the nightlight in your bathrooms so you don't kill yourself on a toilet or a sink or something.  Sit on your bed for 3 minutes before you stand up, and recite the 23rd Psalm in your head to keep the time.  Find a new rhythm and learn the mechanical ones, and rest in knowing that someday, there'll be no allegory and no mystery and no figuring anything out.  Someday it will all be revealed.

There'll be no dark valley when Jesus comes,
There'll be no dark valley when Jesus comes,
There'll be no dark valley when Jesus comes,
To gather His loved ones home.

There'll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes,
There'll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes,
But a glorious morrow when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.

There'll be no more weeping when Jesus comes,
There'll be no more weeping when Jesus comes,
But a blessed reaping when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.
~There'll Be No Dark Valley, William Orcutt Cushing, 1823-1902 ~