“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