Who’s Afraid of the Dark?

“There is a light that shines in the darkness, which is only visible there.
Barbara Brown Taylor

I am slowly reading another Barbara Brown Taylor book. Slowly, because she has a tendency to over-explain her surroundings but mostly because her words require some deeper consideration.

Her ideas about the dark are the opposite of mine. Taylor confesses to not having the same spiritual ideas about darkness because she wasn’t raised in a family of faith. She wasn’t taught that darkness was akin to danger and even sin.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of her observations but I’m inclined to want to go where she is taking me: into a place where dark is also part of God’s creation.
When I was 10 I got to move to the bedroom above our garage. It was the only room on that level. I felt so grown up there by myself but I was also scared. The window was next to the branches of the tall tree that ran up the side of our house. At night, the Oklahoma winds would blow and the branches would scratch against the screen. The shadows looked larger than the twigs themselves. At night, in the dark, it was scary.
Darkness was a place to steer clear of. When we describe a movie as dark we mean it’s not a happy movie. We say it as a way of warning.
Crime ramps up under the cover of darkness. More accidents happen in the dark. Navigating your way through a darkened house often results in stubbed toes or worse.
One of the plagues of Egypt was a “darkness so thick you can feel it”. Exodus 10:21 NLT
I don’t know where this journey in Learning to Walk in the Dark will take me. But I’m eager to expand my thoughts on the concept. I don’t want to limit God to light nor do I want to limit myself.
As much as I prefer walking and driving in the light, I miss seeing an inky black sky that enables the stars to shine brightly. Perhaps this is where we start: by looking for the light that shines through the dark.
“here is the testimony of faith: darkness is not dark to God; 
the night is as bright as the day.” Barbara Brown Taylor

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4 Comments

  1. Annie Rim said:

    Yes! I’m learning to find beauty – and God – in the darkness. That without it, what is the light? I love how God calls both the day and night Good in the Creation story. That God created Darkness and it is Good. Can’t wait to hear more about this journey!

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      The dark can still be a little scary but it’s helpful to consider perhaps its intention is to illuminate what often is lost. Thanks for your faithful encouragement, Annie.

      April 26, 2018
      Reply
  2. Linda Stoll said:

    I’ve found Barbara’s books to be beautifully crafted, filled with incredible aha moments, fascinating insights. While I might not agree with each observation, I certainly am stretched as I ponder where she’s coming from.

    Your post makes me want to head off to the library for another re-read, Debby.

    April 26, 2018
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      My thoughts exactly, Linda. I’ve heard I need to read Alters in the World – not sure if I got the title right. Thanks for your comment. We’re away for a big retreat weekend with ARC men from around FL so I’m not able to keep up with blogs much this week. I’ll pop back in when I can.

      April 26, 2018
      Reply

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