The light shines in the darkness…and then comes the disclaimer.

Things are tough at the moment and that’s making me think a lot about life. It’s making me think about my blessings – those friends who stand by me, who love me and support me through this, who are strength and warmth in the absence of it; the daily emails from my parents with the reminder of the permanency of family; a fulfilling (and demanding) job; the natural beauty of the city in which I live; the music which fills my life and around which my weeks revive and which gives me a glimpse of the Divine and at times leaves me literally breathless and trembling. It’s making me think about the darkness – my history, the shame and anger of what was done to me, from which I cannot escape; the consequences of those actions which resonate through my present and for which I’m the one who pays; the fear of a future tarnished with the realities of ten years spent in a war-zone, the memories of which live on in my very cells.

It’s probably something shared by a million other people, but one of the verses of the Bible which resonate most strongly is the line from the prologue to St John’s Gospel: a light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it. 

There’s hope in that. No matter how dark the darkness gets, no matter how bleak life becomes, no matter how hopeless – darkness does not overcome light. It cannot. The physics of it (I believe – it’s been a long time since high school science) is impossible. On this planet, darkness cannot prevail over light. It can have a damn good try – but the outcome’s guaranteed: it cannot win.

On the other hand, there’s a disclaimer written into that verse. The darkness does not overcome the light – but that doesn’t mean that the light overcomes the darkness. It doesn’t mean that everything will all be ok; it will all be peachy and shiny, we’ll all live happily ever after. That’s not how it works. It won’t necessarily be ok. Things will continue to be hard. We’ll feel fear, and despair, and grief. Light and dark will continue to co-exist, and one will always be found in the other, and the Source of compassion and the Force of love and the Origin of our being will be found in both of them.

It’s not peachy, and it’s not completely shit. Light doesn’t overcome the darkness, but darkness doesn’t overcome the light, either – and right now, that’s enough to remember. Right now, I can live with that.

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2 thoughts on “The light shines in the darkness…and then comes the disclaimer.

  1. Part of my favourite Bible passage, “In the beginning was the Word…”. Live life in the light of which you write: as you get closer to the light, it’s brightness increases and banishes more of the darkness.

  2. Lynette once sent me a card that had the words, “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.” (Robindranatha Tagore) That is what you are doing so bravely … and the dawn will come.

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