On Saturday, through a series of perplexing and frustrating circumstances, someone very dear to me almost died. I apologize for neglecting a gentle preface, but I’m still in the state of emotionally catching up. For the last two days, I’ve been in the slow process of processing, switching out of the auto-pilot mode that allowed me to be calm, rational and supportive during a dicey 24-hour period. It was a 24 hours that held wondering, worrying, judging reactions, discerning causes, weighing options, and a few instances of minding somebody else’s business. Confusion is a dark and unknown place. It’s full of fear and concern and resignation.
In the warm light of two days later, our dear one is on the mend. I have been blessed with the opportunity to stand with my mother in support and strength, and I’ve had the chance to fill a gap in serving my father when needed–all the while watching the movie Cars a few times and conducting some of our own hot wheel races. Gentlemen, start your engines. In this warm light, I am also witness to the truth of one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible (psalm 139:12). Again.
“Even the darkness is not dark to You”
Through the weekend, we were blinded by the darkness of confusion, of not understanding what was happening, of not knowing what to do, of not even knowing whether something needed to be done. We found ourselves in the place of being forced to let go, to let it be what it is, to release a situation into more capable Hands. I saw with gratitude (and at the same time horror) that our dear one’s life was probably saved because we decided to hold our ground on one simple act. It could have easily gone the other way. It was the difference between joining the family for supper or going to bed early. As seemingly insignificant as that, life and death are intertwined, light and dark. On your mark, get set.
“and the night is as bright as the day.”
I tend to forget how undeniable and unquenchable the God who is Light really is. Where light is, dark cannot remain. Where God is, there is no dark. And, where isn’t God? There is no confusion that can circumvent His knowledge. There is no dark that can cloak His vision and understanding. Thank God.
“Darkness and light are alike to You.”
Now, there’s a radical concept. I’ve noticed how much time we tend to spend classifying people and things and situations into the light and dark categories– wrong, right, good, bad, yes, and no. In the warm light of this day, the shift of dark to light is refreshingly uneventful. My dad has a favorite memory he shares about his training in the National Guard. He talks about his whole unit being gathered into a pitch black room. He always marvels at how quickly their eyes adjusted, and how easily surroundings and people came into focus after just one small flame was lighted. Amazingly, light dispels dark rather quickly, efficiently and indiscriminantly. Light is generous, and despite the unfortunate efforts we sometimes impose on ourselves and others, it is uncontained.
Of the lessons I can boil down from the dark experience of July 4, the foremost is that people are an all-too-brief gift, treasured daily to glean their full worth. The second is that “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 john 1:5) The third is that the blackest dark loses its way in the presence of even the smallest light. Even a weak light reflecting its true Source spreads with uncommon power. The light I have to share, though small, can and will impact any sphere in which I choose to shine it.
“Even the darkness is not dark to You.” Go.