Light in the Darkness
As we work our way towards Lent, we approach a very bleak season. All the flowers will be replaced with empty branches. The music at church becomes somber and serious. We are called to refrain, to hold back, to limit.
It can feel very dark.
But there is a beauty in darkness.
Have you ever been out on a clear night in the middle of nowhere? We love to camp, and one of my favorite parts is after the sun goes down and the activity settles into staring at the fire and the sky. Being away from civilization allows us to see the stars and the Milky Way in a way that we just can't at home. It's stunningly beautiful. It is quiet and still. There are no distractions (usually) and nothing to cover up these small points of light that are always there. Even our poor little flashlight is bright enough to point out a constellation or two millions of miles away in the sky.
St. John of the Cross talks about the Dark Night of the Soul. Mother Teresa, or St. Teresa of Calcutta, had a darkness that lasted for years. Both of them received incredible blessings in the midst of it. Their focus on faith and on the providence of Jesus was more intense than most of us will ever know.
If we are in a dark time, we do well to remember that darkness can be beautiful. God may give us the darkness because He has a very focused light that He wants us to see. In a bright room, this beam of light might be overlooked, but in the darkness, it is piercing and impossible to miss.
Where is your light coming from right now? Is it dark enough to see?