The Wisdom of Bats

I sat in the moist grass at dusk, staring up, peasant skirt splayed out around me. I hadn’t had a chance to change out of my work clothes—vaguely thought of jeans–could feel the damp seeping into the thin material…but was too spent to truly care. It was Tired Tuesday, the day I drive back and forth, rush to and fro, counseling the wounded and shuttling eager minds.

As I sat, thus, my husband paced back and forth along the side of the house, shining his flashlight steadily along its sturdy frame.

We have bats.

During the daylight hours we can hear them scratching about in the bowels of the soffit, leaving no doubt about their presence. We have scoured the shell of our humble abode but so far have not found their doorway in. Or out, for that matter.

So we waited at dusk, straining to catch sight of wing as light slowly waned.

The stars came out, one by one, and soon thoughts of furry winged creatures flew…I was enchanted by the coming on of night. The air was filled with birdsong, and I wondered why the Robins sing at dusk. Is it a lullaby? A farewell? Or simply a song of gratitude to Him who gave the day?

My thoughts lingered on my own.

A long day, it was. Frustrating. Disappointing.

My unhappiness at work grows, and yet…nothing changes.

I think of one of the patients I talked with today. How his words filled me, yet left me empty.

I love what I do, he said. I awaken every day filled with gratitude. I get to do this thing I love. It’s amazing.

I tried to hold his gaze as he spoke, but I felt he could see through me—I felt watery, translucent.

So I looked away.

I have tried to live each moment. Appreciate the gifts of the Giver. I have prayed the prayer for Rescue.

But I remain unsettled.

I think these things as the night slowly settles in…as my breath becomes mist before me and Jeff waves around his light in the dark.

I’m not sure why I did it…well, okay, maybe I am…but suddenly I got up and grabbed the rake out of the garage’s gaping mouth. Turning it on end, I wacked the soffit with the tip of its handle.

It felt good.

I heard a stirring, but still no bats.

I did it again.

I think you’re just scaring them, Jeff said. They’re not going to come out.

I couldn’t force this thing to happen. I let the rake fall. Stupid, benign…useless thing.

I am waiting for bats.

Among other things.

I know that eventually, with a great shiver, they will emerge from their hiding place—move in one wave across sky. And when they return they will find their home closed up, filled with foam insulation.

But until then, I just wait.

For now.

In the end, we might end up dismantling the whole blasted soffit, but things can’t stay this way much longer.

I will wait a little longer.

But not too much.

They say bat feces is toxic you know.

Will you celebrate with me the end of a season of waiting for my friend Faith Elaine? You can learn more about the release of her beautiful devotional book here. Elaine is a very special lady to me. Recently, when I posted this, this sweet lady immediately called me up and held my heart through the tantrum. She is the real thing. I just can’t wait to get a copy of that book in my hands!


  1. says

    I can feel your frustration with work…waiting for rescue. I share the same feelings. I suppose there’s a lesson in the patience, but I think I’ve learned it already:) Maybe things will change soon for you-the bats too will emerge…eventually.

  2. says

    Yikes….praying for you!
    Hugs, andrea

    PS: The only good thing is…bats eat mosquitoes and it is fast approaching mosquito season. See there is always something to be thankful for!

  3. says

    God sees you in your “wait”… for bats to fly, for holes to be filled, for dreams to launch, for Peace to come.

    He will, and as he does, he’ll scatter those darned bats to the four corners of the earth giving you room enough to let loose with your own dreams. It’s going to be something, friend. Keep holding on. I’m with you all the way.


    PS: A final thought… I’m impressed to pass along to you a word I received from scripture this morning in my quiet moments with God. I’d never seen it before… just a phrase nestled amidst a long list of Paul’s “hardships”… see if you see what I see…

    “Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (2 Cor. 6:4-10)

    Live on, sweet friend, you possess everything… you hold the kingdom as your own! Live on.

  4. says


    I so wish I could make this right for you.
    I know the waiting.
    As there is a season to everything, I try to trust, try not to doubt.

    It’s hard to discern where sometimes a complete change might be in order though.

    hugs to you,
    and to no more bats.

  5. says

    Laura, I am just mesmerized by this post. I read it through twice from start to finish. Something enchanting here…but yes, I sense your deep despair, too, and my heart goes out to you. Rescue will indeed come just as surely as the bats will fly.

  6. says

    I love the way your heart beats through your writing sweet friend. How I wish I could rescue you – right now. As I type those words it occurs to me that the Father loves you better and wiser than I ever could, and He will rescue you…in His time.
    Waiting is such a difficult discipline. I’m right there with you, banging away, wanting to make something happen. It feels so hopeless to have control taken completely out of our hands – but that is really backward thinking. My true hope is in Him.
    The book sounds perfect. I need to go spend some time at her blog. Thank you for sharing that – and your heart.
    I am praying that the waiting season will be over very soon and that He will give you His peace in the meantime.

  7. says

    I think posts like this are a gift to everyone. Living between the tension of two opposing things. Waiting/hoping – discouragement/trust – no visible rescue/faith
    Your honesty touches us all gently. Wish I could wrap you up close and warm. Motherly.

  8. says

    I love the tender depth, the haunting ache, the patient transparency. The waiting and the longing for transition out of a season or situation is part of what we were made for. One foot on Earth and another in Heaven often leaves me feeling chafed as if I was sitting on a fence. 😉 I hope that makes sense.
    Blessings in the process…
    Much Love!

  9. says

    We want bats! We just put up a bat house and so did our neighbors. It was a joint project between the two husbands. Bats eat mosquitoes.
    Tell your bats to fly to our bed & breakfast in the pine tree. They are welcomed here. ^^^^^

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