Wednesday, May 16, 2007

All is Well

"After dark,
the Devil
plants a garden
in my dream."

That is what someone has spelled out, from the set of magnetic words, on the refrigerator here at the Zombie Free Youth Shelter where I work. I wear different hats here, but one thing I've been doing for the past four plus years is the overnight supervision shift. This involves mostly just being here during the night to ensure that the kids are sleeping alright, and not sleeping with each other or doing anything else they're not supposed to be doing. And then, in the morning, seeing that they get up and get ready for the day ahead. There are periodic room checks throughout the night. And usually, everything is OK during those checks. Or at any rate, things appear to be OK. The kids appear to be sleeping.

But what about that Devil, and that garden he is planting? Their Devil is for the most part invisible to me, just as mine is to them. But the difference is that I know that my Devil is just ME, wearing a Devil mask. When it sneaks up on me and says "BOO", it doesn't have the effect that it used to. My Devil has become rather transparent these days, and it doesn't come calling as much anymore.

The youth I supervise, though, their Devils are still solid creatures, breathing down their necks with breath that stinks of earlier terrors and perceived injustices. When they look for it, they can easily spot it all around them. Sometimes they see it in me, or one of the other staff members. Sometimes it's in their family. Sometimes it's in the other kids, or in their boss, or in their probation officer. Their Devil sneaks around, planting gardens and making trouble for them. Their Devil is a hard wall they are banging their heads against. Their problems seem to be that Devil's fault. That's how it usually goes, anyway. But every now and then, a kid begins to get suspicious that the Devil may not be 'out there'. In fact, they begin to see the Devil more easily when they close their eyes, look within, and move towards accepting personal responsibility for what exists in their lives. And that is when their Devil first begins to lose power over them, and the Devil's garden grows less abundantly.

As I wander the halls in the wee hours, while the children sleep, I talk to their clear Inner Beings, and I remind them that all is well. Sometimes I hear their Devil snicker in return, holding fast to the lie, but more often I feel their Wise One, their hidden Wise One, agreeing with me. Yes, no matter what the Devil appears to be planting in the night, in the light of day, in the light of truth, it is known that All Is Well. And so it is. Sweet dreams to us all.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jaya,

I skipped over to your site
from Damian's blog.

Talking to their clear Inner
Beings while they sleep is
absolutely beautiful.

Your descriptive post reminds me of a painting...
Watchers In The Night

When I was a child, one of my night time prayers
was to my Guardian Angel

Angel of God my guardian dear
to whom God's love commits you here
ever this day be at my side
to watch, to guard, to rule and guide.

I've never stopped to think of this prayer in just this way, (until reading your post),
but I was asking for angelic protection through the night.

My God send the same care and protection for the children you watch over.

Warm Regards,
Deb said...

You are lovely and priceless.

Jaya said...

Ahhh, Deb, that painting is indeed beautiful and comforting. I once, in a moment of great emotional crisis, had the experiece of perceiving an angel standing behind me.

And Adria, thanks so much for your kind words!