The dark opening scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1) shows government official, Rufus Scrimgeour, saying, “These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has, perhaps, faced no greater threat than it does today.” This is a sobering quote that I wake up with some days. It feels very heavy and unfortunately, during this pandemic, it feels accurate.
On the mornings when I wake up with Rufus Scrimgeour in my mind proclaiming that the times are dark, I get out my Bible and try to find some consolation. In many places in scripture, God’s light is celebrated, and many places in scripture seem to say that God is in the light, but not in the darkness. Reading that dichotomy is soul crushing, especially when we are indeed living in dark times. Thanks be to God, the good news is that God is in the light and God is most assuredly in the darkness.
Barbara Brown Taylor wrote a whole book about this, Learning to Walk in the Dark. In it, she reminds us that we celebrate Easter, our holiest holiday, with white lilies, trumpets, and sunrise services, “But it did not happen that way. If it happened in a cave, it happened in complete silence, in absolute darkness, with the smell of damp stone and dug earth in the air…new life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”
I invite you to sit in the darkness of this time and pay attention to the small ordinary gifts God is giving you today. There are lessons we learn in the darkness that are simply not available to us when all is bright and cheery. Learn those lessons while God is offering them.
“Even when light fades and darkness falls--as it does every single day, in every single life--God does not turn the world over to some other deity...Here is the testimony of faith; darkness is not dark to God; the night is as bright as the day.”