As 2020 comes to a close, in darkness, there is light
It gets dark in the Pacific Northwest this time of year… really dark. I’m not sure if it’s because of the additional clouds, or the rain, or the bone-chilling cold, but the darkness around here feels a bit different than other parts of the world this time of year. I’ll admit it, I’m usually really bummed the first few weeks as the days become shorter and the nights grow longer. I find myself walking my dog at 5PM in the pitch black and reflecting on how sunny and hot 5PM was just a few months previous.
And then after feeling sorry for myself for a few moments, my mind tends to recalibrate as other objects in the darkness tend to appear. The beautiful lights of streetlamps and decorated homes begin to illuminate. The reflection of light in the puddles and streams glisten. The darkness of the nearby forest begins to lighten as my eyes adapt to the surrounding darkness. It seems that the world has not given up after all; life continues even in the darkness—there is light.
The metaphor of light shining in the darkness is of old wisdom and tradition. Many stories share that light ultimately conquers the darkness, like it is something to be tamed and controlled. However, I’d like for us to think about a different perspective of this relationship between light and darkness these days. Perhaps it is in the darkness that light is given birth. Perhaps when times are most challenging and foreboding; it’s then when our visions and dreams of a brighter future originate. In some ways, perhaps we need the darkness in our lives to create space for our moments of light.
As the year 2020 comes to a close, we find ourselves once again in the darkness. I invite you to take a moment in the coming season of darkness to instead of resisting the darkness, try leaning into it. Allow our eyes and our senses to adjust. Allow for the stillness to embrace us. And then give a moment to glimpse the light that is slowly on the rise. What new hopes and dreams can you make out for the new year ahead? What new things are in store for our community? What bright new days lie ahead?
~Pastor Jeff Binder
Rev. Jeff Binder is the Pastor at Valley Community Presbyterian Church. Visit us at: www.valleycommunity.org