She hated the night. She was terrified of night. Gibbering things with nasty little voices taunted her: “You’ll never amount to anything. None of your dreams will ever come true. You are worthless. You might as well die.”
Every night the gibbering things whispered their lies. But just because they were lies didn’t mean they could be ignored. Lies are like the fishhook that caught in her palm as a child. Her daddy carved it out with his pocketknife, digging deep into her flesh. The pain was almost more than she could bear, and there was blood everywhere. Blood and pain—like the gibbering lies. No wonder she hated to turn off the light. No wonder she tossed and turned every night. No wonder she fingered her rosary frantically, praying for daylight to come.
But one night, in addition to the gibbering voices, she heard, or thought she heard, another voice, almost a whisper. Well, more like a breath. And the Breath seemed to say: You are the daughter of wisdom and light.
Wait, she thought to herself, am I not worthless? Am I not a miserable excuse for a human being? Shouldn’t I just die and be done with it?
But the Breath persisted: You are the daughter of wisdom and light. You know what is right. In you mercy and goodness dwell.
Was this a trick? Was she just imagining things? She must be. She was worthless, and she knew it, and she was afraid of the dark, for the darkness told her that she had nothing to offer the world but her miserable, wretched existence.
Then she seemed to hear the Breath again: Sleep, child. Even though you are terrified, I am here, and you are safe.
And so she slept. For the first time in years, she slept through the night. And her sleep was good.