Even in darkness…

…I am not the light, but I am called to testify to the light. To testify is to tell my truth, the whole truth, to be held accountable for what I know and see. I am a witness to the light. I have watched it shine in my very own darkness.

Light, of course, always shows up best in darkness. As it turns out in God’s wise economy, I serve the light best not by trying to be light, not by trying to create an illusion of light, but by being simply myself. A wondering, a waiting, a longing, a doubting, a sometimes lost and tired traveller. My unique darkness becomes my unique gift. It is how I testify to the light. The very parts of me that I think about trying to hide reveal the light most clearly. Because even in darkness—especially in darkness—the true light, oh how it loves to shine.

Kayla McClurg, on Inward/Outward

It is harder and harder, especially as the physical darkness of the shortening days draws the year in to its ending, to see the way ahead. We are not given to see the view from the hill, and the pattern makes no sense from here. Shadows lengthen, the sun appears only briefly between low bands of cloud, across a thin and watery sky. There is nothing to see outside the rooms of winter, no promise of a better tomorrow.

Darkness is all that is left as a testimony to the light. My own darkness, the light that fades in so many eyes each day as its life passes – where? There are no conclusions, and all the signposts are fading now.

Advent. Waiting. Below the horizon there is a rising, yet the darkness extends its borders across these bare fields. What is it? No answer. How could there be? There are no words for this, and we have not the senses for these wavelengths. “When I say ‘darkness’, I mean a privation of knowing, just as whatever you do not know or have forgotten is dark to you, because you do not see it with your spiritual eyes. For this reason, that which is between you and your God is termed, not a cloud of the air, but a cloud of unknowing.” (The Cloud of Unknowing, Ch. 4)

But the light shines in the darkness. It does. The dark has not overcome it, despite the closing down of day to that faint fading glimmer along the horizon. It is only love, and love has no need of daytime, or even summer. Love holds all that is, could be. Contains the worlds, and the aching interstellar voids; it is the ground of being itself, and is always. There is nothing to fear…

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