Age 9, I slept bedroom door closed, lights off, and ground-floor window wide open. Then I saw “The Legend of Boggy Creek.” The movie itself—a B-grade documentary of cherry-picked evidence and sensationalized reenactments—was terrifying enough. (If you’ve seen it, or decide to stream it: How could 6 hands spill the shells and fail to load a shotgun for that long? And why would anyone in monster-infested country leave a lavatory window open to the night?) But pre-adolescence, my own back yard’s night became menacing, and every moment of isolation a risk. Still, in the mystery there was something attractive; hence a short-lived fascination with Night Stalkers and Jaws.

The Psalms are often as far from our analysis and explanation as horror from my sheltered youth. David’s words are poetry; not outlines, lists, or even prose. Against the shouts of his enemies, and above the din of reason and order, in song he sees the invisible, finds joy in shadow, and holds the untouchable. “So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. …in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

God uses our fears so that we will find His safety. He uses our knowledge, and increases it, so we will find His truth. But in those moments when morning prayer turns to stillness, the night sky to welling eyes, or simple regret to profound conviction, He shows us His power, beauty, and glory.

Having seen such—yesterday, or decades ago—our back yard should never be the same.

May those we serve this week see the inexpressible difference He has made in us.