Tag Archives: Darkness

A Light To Focus On

For some darkness is scary and foreboding, it certainly is when you’re cycling down an unlit cycle track, with just the beam of your bike light to guide you. On this journey though, there is a view that always delights me. The occasional starry sky, meets the neon glow that surrounds this cities cathedral. That is lit up, like a waypoint or beacon on a hill guiding me home.

Part of our journey through life not least as christians can be through dark times and difficulties. It may seem strange for a christian to speak of difficulty, it’s not that there is a lack of faith, or some unbelief.

Instead my image of God is one who is willing to sit amongst all the grime of life, and doesn’t always make easy answers, the jesus CS lewis, Nicholas WolterstorffDietrich Bonhoeffer, Mother Teresa and my mum along with many others knew is one who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty.

But there are those Christians and churches who want a fix all God and subscribe to a constant state of perpetual and sadly unrealistic, happiness. I have attended those types of churches where everyone smiles all of the time and experienced their wonky pastoral care!

Sadly and Unfortunately on one level, I do not think  this side of glory, true equality and understanding of peoples differences can be found within this broken world, in part because, very seldom do people genuinely have the same agenda in life.

But when those agendas converge there are nation changing moments. The fall of the Berlin wall, the end to the apartheid in South Africa, to name two. Of course there are countless moments of grace where people put aside their agendas for the cause of someone or something else.

The couple who decide to have a child or adopt one, the crowds that gather to support the refugees at bus stations, and ports, the two men from Newcastle Upon Tyne, who protected a muslim woman and her family from verbal abuse on the metro. The faithful men and women who truly embody what it means to love your neighbour, littered across our neighbourhoods like stars across the night sky and who remain unsung, and unnoticed, but no less cherished.

All these situations and people remind us that in the darkness can be found light, that even in our broken world with all of its struggles there in lies the audacity of hope which whispers to you and I, life can be better, evil can be over thrown, justice can be found after all.

We need a beacon of light in all of our lives a place or a person who holds us either physically or by their words. In this place we can be known, cherished and loved. I delight in my view because I know home, safety, warmth, family is within my reach. But also as the cathedral looks out across a land scape that has changed so much over its 998 year existence, i am reminded of a God who knows me, as I cycle down dark lanes, through lit streets, over a river to get home.

The psalmist writes ‘Even the darkness is light to God its as though it is day’, to the creator of the world, meaning that wherever we are we can be known by the source of light and love. Known by him who knows our name our coming and going.

Whatever your darkness is, I wonder what might be your beacon, a place, a person or even God? Something or someone which guides you, reminds you of what is important, and true and who holds up the best version of yourself to you like a mirror.

As parents we remind our children when they have a nightmare that they are not alone, that they are safe.  Perhaps as christians when darkness surrounds us like an oppressive fog, we are not as alone as we think we are. May your darkness become less scary, less suffocating, less emotionally wearing. As you look towards your beacon of light, that focuses you on your journey that draws you to your destination.

Have a great week

 Last Weeks Post:

Are You Getting The Whole Picture

Similar Themes:

Heavens Life Lesson

Disappointed In God

Overcoming The Darkness

There are moments in life where I have felt worthless, and lying in my bed one night as a teenager soon after I came to Christ, I was in one of those moments, where I believed wholeheartedly in my own personal worthlessness, and general depravity. I was in a dorm room and whilst being surrounded by people felt truly alone. This loneliness had been around me for sometime, increasing its intensity and then lessening as was its way.

In the week that I had given my life to Christ, a woman who we shall called Amanda gave me a cassette tape of a christian country singer, Don Francisco. Lying in my bed that night I reached for my Sony Walkman (iPods hadn’t been invented in the early 90s) I inserted the tape and pressed the play button receiving that reassuring click as my music was piped into my ear phones.

There was one song that struck me, there lying in the darkness, it was as though this bloke was singing directly to me, lyrics that fitted with my emotional state. The song Beautiful To Me, is the story of the woman who knelt before Jesus, tear stained and retched seeking Gods grace. As she wiped his feet with her hair, Jesus forgave, restored and renewed her, and she never heard the condemnation of the hosts in her heart, for Gods grace had filled her heart and protected it from the spears and barbs of the human tongue.

The song led me into Gods presence, a feeling of love I will never forget, an awareness that no matter how literally dark the world can be, the light and love of God can will and does break through.

Did this mean my first year as a Christian got easier? Actually no, it got a lot worse. But I had discovered a friend and I listened to that track of music over and over and over, for it sustained me. I didn’t have access to the bible, and so the song became my teaching, my window into the things of God and what I’d discovered was that he loved me, knew me and was my friend, no matter what hell I was about to step into, he would be there.

Could he have stopped my hardship it? Yes, do I blame him for not stopping it? Not now, because I have grown from it, I have a deeper compassion and awareness of personal hell than I would otherwise have done. And I hope can offer the love and grace I received from God to others who do not have a song, let alone awareness of a God in whose image we each are made.

To you, who are in a fight of your life and are lying on the train tracks of life waiting for the train, or you who are in your own private hell. My prayer is for you today, lean not in your own understanding, but in the one who sees the bigger picture, the beginning and end, and loves you, really loves you, so much that no matter what’s happened, wherever you have been or ended up, His grace is always bigger, more expansive more powerful than the darkness.

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