While in God's Grip!
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."
~ 2 Thessalonians 3: 16
At some point we all encounter darkness. Even the sundial encounters cloudy skies, and sleeps while the moon crosses it's path. Our encounters with darkness are marks in our life that some of us find hard to understand or to live through.
Even God reached a point where the words, "Let there be light!" had to become part of the Creator's vocabulary.
Darkness is something that we avoid. Like death, we don't discuss these moments. The death of Christ. The days in the tomb. The darkness of the sky, and the darkness in our hearts, filled with uncertainty. But then, the stone is rolled away. Christ emerges. Although the wounds remain and He is marked by the journey, we declare, "He is Risen!"
One of the things that I struggle with is helping others to understand their own mortality, as they make their way into eternity. This week I met a man who shared, "Darkness for me is when my mind convinces my spirit that I need to hold on to this life tightly."
We all can call to mind the faces and names of those who have now encountered mortality. For me, it seems that when mortality is finally understood, then they are gone, and then the journey changes. The resurrection meets the earthly journey, and all darkness is gone. No more pain. No more sadness. No more... no more...
Lately is seems that the world has become a darker place. I think back to the Western movies I would watch with my grandfather, where the good guys wore white cowboy hats, and a bandana could suddenly mask a man and make him a "masked bandate," or a black hat determined the role the person would play. It was easy to figure who was good or evil.
Today there are no white or black cowboy hats, and even the bandana has been replaced by a convincing smile.
The struggle is not the darkness, but remembering that the darkness cannot overcome the true light that lies within each of us. It seems that hope has been lost, but then, even a single lit match can light up an entire cave cavern.
For those of us who still struggle to think of our own mortality, encounter darkness regularly, or have times of uncertainty, there still remains a light within each of us that will always remain. A light that reminds us that there will always be "sunny days," and that even in the darkness, the sun dial waits to once again mark the hours the light that cannot overcome by clouds or darkness. The sun dial, like us, remembers the times when darkness tried to overcome the light and failed.
"Let there be light!"
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.