Hope in the Dark

We all gathered outside in the middle of our busy day to watch the magnificence that is the solar eclipse. We looked toward the sky in our solar glasses. When it got unusually dark at high noon everybody noted they could see the moon cover the sun. In reality the moon didn’t really cover the sun. Our earthly vantage point just made it seem like it did.

Little Molly exclaimed “Cool! The moon is with the sun!” Everyone chuckled, amused at the awestruck little girl who is herself captivating. Kids say the smartest things! We adults always think of the moon and the sun apart. One for the day. One for the night. But Molly is right. They are together. Darkness is present alongside the light.

It is often thought that spiritual transformation is ones movement from darkness into light. I am unconvinced somehow. I know we all have God’s light inside of us. It is where it is for a reason. For times when hope is scarce we can dwell on the inside where darkness cannot touch us. That means we can hope in times of darkness as much as we hope in the light.

One of the mysteries of being human is we really are a combination of darkness and light. Because pure light is blinding shadows then become essential for our seeing. Those of us who habitually wear shaded sunglasses know that it is wise to not look directly at the light. The same is true for our eyes of faith, it’s supposed to see better as it gets darker.

The availability of light has nothing to do with our ability to find hope. It has everything to do with our desire to tap into a power beyond our physical self and set our spirit free. Our hope is in the Lord. And there is no space on earth where God is not present. Even in our sorrow, our doubts, our fear, and our guilt He is there. That means we can persist through the dark times because God will endure it with us and show us how to patiently carry the dark times through to the light of His resurrection.

And just as the night ever so slowly gives way to the unfolding of the day, God too is not in a hurry to fix us. Our behaviour is not His top priority. We are. His primary concern is assuring us of His love. That is why Jesus did not wait for us to get our lives in order. He met us right in the middle of our awful mess. This reminds me of the biblical Jesus who just loves hanging out with the sinners. He still does.

Jesus came and gave us a new way to become human by revealing to us a God who defines us not by our actions but by His love. A God who planted a share of His light inside of us. A God in whom we can hope in our struggle to be whole. A God who is our Home.

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