Light in the Darkness
written by Rev Gary Heard

To journey with a dying person raises deep personal questions for all concerned. The initial instinct is to fight for life, to reach out for any opportunity or in the possibility that might bring healing and restoration of physical health. There is something innately human about not wanting to die, but the same time is something fundamental about our humanity that means we must. To want to negotiate about the timing of death, once it is obvious that death is certain is a natural response. In some measure we want to be in control, we want to be able to find solutions for all of life’s problems.

The temptation is often to view and live life as a series of problems to be solved. The implicit assumption that life should be trouble-free, or that problems are a temporary blip in the landscape, is a life-diminishing attitude.

A recent night-time walk out near Mansfield revealed a panoply of lights in the sky: an array of stars beyond number - much more than is visible from the streets and yards of our urban settings. The longer we stayed in the darkness the more stars became visible to us, even to the point where we could track man-made satellites in their orbits around the earth. It was only the darkness that could revealed this wonder to us. When removed into an area illuminated by fluorescent light the number of stars visible decreased greatly. The light was an enemy to truly seeing.

When the dark moments of life envelope us the search for a solution may inhibit our ability to discover the light that we need to guide us. To grasp for quick solutions in the darkness may have a force of fluorescent light on the night sky: obscuring the beauty of the light that we need to see.
Our penchant for quick solutions - either for ourselves or others - may destroy the possibility for deeper growth, or deeper understanding. As painful as it may be to dwell in the darkness longer than we feel comfortable to do so, we are invited to see God in a new way in that place so that we may walk through it into a better one.

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

May 12, 2002
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