Listening in the dark

Advent, Day 6

Once God came to Job, 

that saint of suffering, and asked, 

“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,

and where is the place of darkness, 

that you may take it to its territory

and that you may discern the paths to its home?” (Job 38:19-20)

We do not know the way. 

We have walked on the moon,

unpuzzled the mysteries of the sun,

photographed the stars,

glimpsed the enormity of our universe of lights.

Yet we are a people walking in darkness.

We are those living in a land

of the shadow of death.

The lights we chase offer but a dim reflection,

like seeing through a glass darkly.

I wonder why, back in the beginning, 

when God separated the light from the darkness,

he didn’t just destroy the darkness altogether. 

Instead, he bound it, 

gave it a territory. 

He knew we would walk there, even live there. 

Maybe, because of our bent hearts, 

our feet that ever wander away from him, 

we need the darkness to remind us of the light.

Maybe if we lived continually in the light

we would soon forget it is our life,

like we forget breathing.

He is still there, in the dark. 

Before he spoke those first words, 

the Spirit was there, hovering, waiting. 

Maybe, like a wise parent, 

he lets us live in the dark for a time. 

So we will remember. 

So we will look for the way. 

He is the way, 

and he is here with us

and he is coming.

We don’t have to be afraid of the dark.

It is bound and held fast.

We can even rest in the dark, 

even as we listen for his coming.

He is coming.

Light always wins.

6 thoughts on “Listening in the dark

  1. We wear a self-made harness
    to bind us to the night,
    but perhaps we need that darkness
    so we can know the light.
    We claim that we have really changed,
    have turned away from sin,
    but anonymity arranged,
    we’ll gladly dive right in.
    We wrestle with pigs of the heart
    in the muck and mire,
    and from that refuse to part
    for we, it, seems, require
    abasement of God-given soul
    that again, repentance can make whole.


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