Wednesday, August 4

How to Enter the Darkness

headlines from the daily crucifixion

five died today
unemployment rises
militants surge
suicide bombers
gay man beaten
  noose faxed 
militia plot
toddler dies
refinery burns
arsenic infects land
nuclear waste seeps

Lenten Reflection:

 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
 the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
 while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
 Then God said,
 "Let there be light," and there was light.
 God saw how good the light was.
 God then separated the light from the darkness.
 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night."
 Thus evening came, and morning followed-the first day.

 -Genesis 1:1-5


Random thoughts:  The darkness is not bad.  God feels crucified every moment of every day.

Wow.  I have almost no coherent thoughts this morning. 

Satellite View of Earth at Night
Satellite View of Earth at Night, Photo credit: NASA

The light is good.  But just because the light is good doesn’t mean that the dark is bad.  Our imagery of goodness being light and badness being dark has harmed people of color.  There is something harmful to the metaphor of spiritual darkness and lightness.  So what if we welcome the darkness?  Treat it as a gift?  Embrace the dark side.  Scary.  I can hear Darth Vader inviting Luke Skywalker to come to the dark side.

But what is in the darkness?  Darkness allows us to rest.  It allows us to regenerate, heal, prepare for the light.  Paul Bogard writes of the gift of darkness in Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark.  We actually need darkness.  Can we allow our spiritual side to need darkness?  What does that look like?  Welcoming darkness?

I suppose part of it is living with uncertainty, ambiguity.  I remember spelunking…now there is total, utter, and complete darkness.  It would have been terrifying if I hadn’t had a community of spelunkers with me and the correct tools to see me through the darkness.  In this darkness, walking in circles is a distinct possibility.  Traveling nowhere forward but allowing chaos to reign.  So, I suppose we need to be equipped for the darkness.  And we need to rely on our community.  So that when we do enter the darkness, we can find incredible solace and rest.

Every seed needs darkness to grow.


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