The darkness of the night always seems oppressive. When I wake up at 2 or 3 as I am frequently wont to do these days, the darkness hovers around me, making me believe I am alone in the world (even though I can hear the husband snoring in the other room). Alone in my worry and confusion. Alone in my doomsday scenarios--even before this pandemic. It is there that I sit on the couch and find that "counting my blessings" is a math lesson in futility. I'm not believing in the blessings or grace freely given or pretty much anything but the gloom surrounding me. Cocooned in the gloom. Yep, that's me in the dark watches of the night. And it feels like that is all there is. Good Friday does that to me too. Doom and gloom. Reading the story of the all too humans surrounding the divine Jesus, yep, nuthin' sounding good to me there! And the sermons on that day? Well, they aren't supposed to be uplifting are they? They are supposed to be reminding us of the wrong ways we do things and how Jesus was gonna put things right. So double whammy during pandemic!
But the other night, while lamenting the wind howling around the house and the clouds obliterating the supposedly beautiful full moon, whilst pacing and fretting I looked up. I have these really high up windows in my house. And one in particular is a half circle. And there framed in the window WAS the moon. True the clouds draped themselves around and about it. But I could see it, milky white and luminous. It was never completely obscured by the clouds. It was almost highlighted by them as they threw their tendrils around it. I stopped wringing my hands and just stared.
We are like those clouds some days. Throwing their wispy tendrils around people who are trying their best to show us that there is light. We consciously, or sometimes unconsciously, block out the light of understanding and forgiveness and love as its too complicated. During this time of alone-ness, we shield ourselves from the possible bad news of someone we love being infected, someone we care for being sick, someone we can't live without--finding out we have to live without them. We don't want the light to shine on that which we don't want to see. But the thing is--the light that is God overcomes all these barriers, all these clouds. The light that comes from God isn't dependent on the news of the day. It isn't dependent on the weather or the whim of anyone or anything. It shines on the good and bad alike. It shines for you and for me, whether we acknowledge it's light or not. It STILL SHINES. And we could use some light these days.
I have to say, that Easter is usually the highlight of my Spring. I buy a new hat. I put on lighter clothes (even though I have to wear a winter coat to do it). And this year, I will be looking for the light in the darkness. The light that overcomes anything I throw at it. Because I know that even if I am not in the "midst" of God's people on Easter Sunday...I am in the midst of God's light. Let it be so for you as well. Amen.