The absence of light can manifest itself in many painful ways. The sharp Lego piece left by my son on the bedroom floor, causing intense pain and a few regretfully loud expletives spoken as I attempted a quiet trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The stealthy approach to the deer stand in the pre-morning darkness when a wild rose vine does its best imitation of a trip wire. Falling to the ground, bow flying who knows where and you look up to see, even in the darkness, white flags signaling good bye. Or even a more ominous darkness affecting things that are life altering or life defining.
Isn’t it interesting that while darkness is often feared, it really doesn’t exist. There is no real thing, this darkness, there is only the absence of light. A light can be held in your hand like a flash light or candle. Darkness can’t be held or bottled. Reminds me of the mason jar test. My family made many trips a year from the high plains of Western Kansas to the Colorado Rocky Mountains. As a young boy I looked at the clouds that would hang low on the mountain tops. I told my Dad, “Let’s hike up the mountain, I’m going to take a mason jar with me and when we get to the clouds I will capture some of the cloud in my jar and take it home!” I’m sure my Dad smiled at my plan. I don’t recall what he said but somewhere along the way I learned that a cloud was just water vapor and something that couldn’t be captured in a jar. Like the cloud, darkness if different than I thought.
So, we can talk about darkness in its many forms. But, in reality we should be talking about the absence of light. Without light we have poor vision. We cannot see the path laid out for us. Instead we decide to make our own paths. Without light we listen for others calling out. And they do. Unfortunately, if they have no illumination their motives may be self-serving. There is a false sense of security in hanging onto others in the darkness for they too may be lost.
But it seems like there is darkness. We hear of terrorist plots to kill innocent people. There is hatred and vitriol spewed daily in politics. The news, internet and social media are used as subversive operatives from every side. There is no definable morality. The moral compass is spinning uncontrollably causing every growing numbers of folks to become lost. The darkness has clouded people’s vision so much that people can’t see utter failures, such as man’s attempt for “utopian fairness” called socialism. They should take a vacation in Venezuela, that might shed some light on that form of government. Another example is the extreme intolerance of the tolerant. Yes, it seems like this darkness is growing like bindweed in the field choking out so much that is good.
If we only had a light to burn away this darkness. To shine down on the path that leads to the best that man can be. To illuminate true wisdom and morality. If this light would shine, darkness evaporates, evil runs to hide from the exposure. Man’s flaws and shortcomings are become visible.
If we only had this light. We could know the answers to so many things. We could alleviate so many man-made ills. We could replace hatred, we could find out that we are cared about and for. We could find truth. A truth that deception cannot penetrate, lies fall harmlessly at its feet.
There is good news my friends, the light exists. Where it lives darkness cannot. Then why does this light not shine? The answer, we choose not to see it and here is why:
John 3:19 – And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
John 3:20 – For everyone who does the wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works be exposed.
However, the light exists for us that open our eyes to it.
John 8:12 – I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
It’s not just metaphorical. It is real, he is real. We will each one stand in the presence of the light someday. Some to be welcomed home, to live in the light for eternity. Others sentenced to the darkness, for eternity. For the men reading this let me put this in the form of a “Dirty Harry” quote, “Do you feel lucky?” You going to gamble on this? Many of you are. Don’t!
Search for the light. When the darkness falls away, there is hope, love, beauty, strength, meaning and peace.
I like like your comment about how darkness doesn’t exist. How we bring the light to the darkness. How darkness is the absence of light.
Reminds me that I have been called to light the way for others.
Thanks for a great message, Bert.