Keeping Vigil


I’m awake in the middle of the night again. A sadness dogs me until I get up and listen to it. In the silence I hear a regret that I was not present.

That evening I had a meal with friends. I conversed awkwardly, didn’t remember what was important, didn’t really see or hear them. That day I rode my bike through the city on roads strewn with autumn leaves, by water, mountains, merchants, birds and cars, but I didn’t see or hear them either. I ate a sandwich I didn’t taste, travelled streets without smells.


I’m awake when I should be asleep, and all day long I’m asleep when I should be awake.

In the middle of this night, God the Child is keeping vigil. He is with me in my helplessness. One hand is on my chest, and with the other around my neck and his fingers under my chin, he gently pulls my cheek to his baby soft skin. He looks at me and sees me. He adores me as if I were his mother.

Even as I look away and fall asleep, he continues to watch over me. He is not thinking about what I’ve done or what I need to become. He is present, loving me now as if I were the whole world to him.

To him my helplessness is golden.


Darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139:12

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

6616415777_54688823da_zWhile I feel the confines of my own helplessness to change, others feel it much more acutely. One friend’s pain and weakness evades diagnosis and leaves them alone with their fears for days on end. Another who is tormented by relentless, sadistic voices is among the small percentage of people with schizophrenia who don’t respond to medication. Still another enters treatment for the fourth time with both hope and trepidation. I am sure their helplessness does not feel golden to them. Yet they continue to take one breath after another, giving themselves to us for another day.

And we are blessed by their gift.

 What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
 Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Rain on My Window” by Judy van der Velden. Used with permission.
Our Lady of Vladimir (12th century), the holy protectress of Russia, now in the Tretyakov Gallery public domain by Wikipedia Commons
Sculpture by Efrain Almeida photographed by Rodrigo Soldon 2. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2016.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Mystical, Poverty of Spirit, Reflections, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Keeping Vigil

  1. Jude Hatfield says:

    Dear Esther,

    The gentleness and grace of your reflections ministers deeply to my soul. Thank you for your vulnerability and openess as you put into language our shared journey of making peace with what it is to be human. Your words invite us to open again and again to the ever present Life of God, calling to us over and over.

    Your words of baby Christ’s love and devotion are simply beautiful. Through them I am re-reminded of the humility and tenderness of God. May we feel His insistent little hand and succumb to His desire to look into His eyes and see Love.

    Peace be with you,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    Thank you, Jude. So good to hear.
    Yes, may we feel His insistent little hand and meet His eyes. What great pleasure it would bring to the Trinity! Peace be with you, too!


  3. Pingback: God’s Salvific Love | An Everyday Pilgrim

  4. Pingback: When We Find No Rest | An Everyday Pilgrim

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