A Letter: Being Up Late at Night

This morning I finished my first shift volunteering at Austin’s Place. Find out more about Austin's Place here.

It was just like old times, when I used to work Desk Clerk (DC). My favorite shift was always the 1:00 am- 4:00am. At Austin’s place, I was awake for the second half of the shift, 2:00am to 700am—with minimal sleep before hand, the couches are comfy but don’t compare to my squeaky springs apartment bed.

Here is a letter with my twisted love affair with Late-nights.

Dear Late-nights,

Its been awhile; almost a year actually.  To be quiet honest, I’ve missed you. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be visiting you as often as before, but its nice to spend time with you.

I’ve missed the stillness you bring, accompanied with the musical fuss of an old building.

I’ve missed the way you force me to face my thoughts because that’s the only thing that keeps me awake.

I've missed how you manage to sweet talk me into abandoning schoolwork, and just as easily persuade me to deeper but less scholastic endeavors—like journaling, blogging or crying.  You command my tears to stop, or demand that I stop complaining, and you encourage my hopes.

I’ve missed how songs mean more in the vulnerable place I like to call 3:00 am.

I’ve missed the way anything seems possible in light of the new day that approaches. You remind me that the LORD’s joy comes in the morning. I've missed how you keep me up to experience that beautiful threshold beheld between dark and dawn; where the old day, with its troubles & fears, fades away and the promise of all things new comes to light.

I do have to admit that this time we meet on different circumstances. This time around my late nights don’t come with a mandated work shift. This time, they come with willingness. They come in the form of volunteering... I chose you, Late-night.

Its strange how that happens in life—doing what you once disliked. I mean, I never hated you, but now I embrace you, and I am able to do so because I can see what you have to offer and I am grateful for it, and I delight in it. I've come to realize that,

there are just some things than cannot be done during the day.

Yes, sometimes you are a little creepy and sneaky. You make me jump at your unfamiliar noises, but that’s what makes you unique. With you I hear things that I wouldn’t hear at any other time, and that includes hearing myself. I can think clearer because you give me the freedom to dwell and spend time with the LORD. You do that because you keep all other people away. I mean, who wants to be up at 3:20am?.. by distracting others with tiredness, you let me be in communion with God. Yeah, I sound crazy but that’s okay.

Well, after hanging out with you, now I have to get some sleep too. He (sleep) is my cherished friend.

Anyway, thanks for always being there even though I frequently choose sleep over you. I’m glad for the prospect of visiting you soon over the next month at Austin’s Place. I hope all the other volunteers see what you have to offer. Also, be nice to those who are working at the desk.

Yours truly,

P.s. One thing I don’t like is the way you make my stomach growl. I already had breakfast, lunch and dinner, what am I supposed to eat now?  What meal is between midnight snack and breakfast? I can only have so many granola bars.


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