Where do you see darkness? How can you more fully hope in God’s work in our world?
Two sets of our neighbors recently were blessed with the birth of their fourth child. When their kids are outside and I open my garage door they often come in to see what I am up to. What snacks are available? Is it time for a popsicle? How about getting out the Magic Tracks cars on the driveway?
The questions they ask and the chatter they engage me in are fascinating. They often experience something new, like climbing the tree in my front yard, playing with the wind spinners in our garden, or using my box of chalk on the sidewalk. Any and all of these activities include a sense of wonder, as opposed to the commonplace view older people have of similar activities.
Last summer eight or ten kids sat on milk crates and enjoyed a movie in my driveway as it got dark. They enjoyed popcorn, water to drink, and an old Disney movie on videocassette in a portable TV-VCR unit. Then one of the kids noticed fireflies for the first time. Immediately the kids were jumping and trying to catch a firefly in their little hands. It was a brief yet fun tangent to movie time and a wonderful moment.
As we returned to finish the movie, several kids started saying, “Hey, it is dark out here.” Their world was forever altered by the reality and discovery of the nighttime. I’m sure the older kids were more familiar with the darkness since their parents helped them get to bed on time each evening. They were more used to the difference between daylight and darkness.
The movie ended and I asked the kids to lie in the grass and look up at the stars. They peered up at the dark sky and looked at black nothingness, dotted with stars on a clear summer night. With branches of the neighborhood trees swaying in the slight breeze, they paused to enjoy the dark.
Read Isaiah 5:18-21.
Later that night I went out on my back porch and peered up into the sky. The night felt different than it normally has. It was the same in most aspects – dark, quiet, stars, and so on. But it was also different in a way I cannot clearly describe. It was fascinating, eerie, dark, and it was something else, something I can’t remember seeing before as I sat in the dark.
It was not like I had never experienced the dark before, because I had. I even had some unique experiences being deep under water, in a cave, and of course, experiencing it every day of my life. It was as if the darkness did not seem as dark as before.
I was able to understand the people Isaiah wrote about, the ones who confused God’s light with the darkness of sin. I was gaining insight into those who allow themselves to mingle in such a way as if there is no distinction between light and darkness. I was able to see the difference between the light and truth of God’s Kingdom and the dark more clearly than ever.
The painful reality (and truth) of our world (including our campuses) is that the fallen world is dark. Serve globally. Seeing what is dark will help us to hope in the light. See the light. Hope in the Light of the World. Walk in the Light. Allow God’s Spirit to shine His Light through you.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz