Yes. That was what it was. Numbness was what one felt when they couldn't feel anything, wasn't it? The sharp gravel beneath her bare feet hardly registered in her cloudy senses, and she could barely feel the icy wind stinging her face. Numb was definitely how she felt.
She was out here to look at the sunset. That’s right. She remembered now. Raising her listless gaze to the sky, she stared through swollen bloodshot eyes at the orange glow permeating the misty rain coming across the horizon. The golden rays of fading sunlight shone down through breaks in the clouds, casting them a lining of pure gold; water droplets glistening and sparkling in amongst the glow as the falling rain drew nearer to where she stood.
It was a spectacular sight. Truly, she tried to appreciate it. She attempted to take in the splendour of God's handiwork, and admire His hand in the glorious display. Groping through the fog in her bewildered mind, she strove to latch onto a single happy thought; a last glimpse of hope, or fragment of a dream. But there was nothing there. Her mind, like the darkening forest beneath the golden extravaganza, was a dark void.
What good was there in enjoying a sunset, anyway? It was such a fleeting sparkle on the horizon before the world was cast into the shadow of darkness. Already, the golden rays were dissipating, and the fading light retreating from the sky as the black fingers of night twisted their way through the trees in their gathering gloom. So like her life, she mused duly. A moment of goodness; a season of assumed assurance of happiness and joy, when like a thief in the night, what you hold dear is snatched away without a trace; like a cruel hand heartlessly snuffing out a candle, leaving only a hint of smoke in its wake. Smoke will never replace the glow of a flame that once burned, and no thief returns that which he took great pains to steal.
The sun disappeared altogether, and with the darkness, the wind picked up, tearing through her clothes and causing her to shiver violently. She clenched her teeth against their chattering, biting hard till her jaw ached. Had she been clenching them all this time? She was finally feeling pain - other pain, aside from the raw wound in her heart, that is. Suddenly the rain released itself from the pent up sky, and she turned and ran from it indoors, not particularly caring if she got wet. Let the sky attack her with water, she thought to herself. Nothing could kill the nothingness she was feeling.
Entering the house, she made her way to the bathroom and flipped on the light. She glanced at herself in the mirror. Her face was set in a deep frown. Her confused eyes stared back at her. She didn't know she had been frowning. She tried to relax her expression now, but slight creases still remained. Her face was pale, and her eyes watery. Watery was good. At least the tears remained in her eyes for now, instead of gushing down her face in silent sobs. She blindly finished washing her hands under the hot water and left the bathroom.
She sat a while with her family, but her mind was not really there. She was deep within herself, wrestling with something she could neither see nor understand. Afterwards she lay in bed and stared at the blackness that was her bedroom ceiling, her once cloudy mind now a vivid tangle of knots that were questioning at every convergence. Why? Tears slid down the sides of her face and soaked into her pillow. What should she do? The pain welled up within her, silent sobs wracking her soul. And how? She groaned; a deep, deep, moaning escaping her throat, as though it were the very sound of her heart tearing in two. She tried to pray, but could only get out two words at a time, which she repeated over and over:
Help me... God please... Help me...
She didn't want to stay in the dark. She wanted to appreciate the sunsets and sunrises. She wanted to pray with words, not sighing. She wanted to feel alive, and think clearly. She didn't mean to doubt. Did grief mean she doubted God? When all she could fathom was darkness, did it mean she questioned the light?
Could anyone blame her for where she suddenly found herself? A place where she didn't know how she got here, didn't know whether or not if it were her fault, and with no notion of how to get out of it? She trusted God, but she was called to action, and she had no idea what it was. Everything she knew was thrown into the air like so much confetti, and she had no idea which piece of would-be fact to grab hold of. The chasm of despair seemed to yawn at her feet, and the lostness she felt threatened to drag her over the edge.
Finally, tormented beyond measure, she threw herself back on her bed and extended a hand to heaven. "Take it," she groaned. "Take it off my hands, I can't bear it anymore."
As her sobs quieted and her breathing settled, peace trickled through her heart and mind as she drifted off to sleep. It comforted her. Did she know what to do now? No. Did she know where to go? No.
But she knew God, and God knows all. It was all she could do, and the best thing she could.
Sleep claimed her, and in that moment, she knew that the God who works all things for good, would use the darkness as a stage for His most glorious dawn.