I stand outside in the early dawn of my hometown, and tears pool in my eyes.
I am moved by this – the bravest picture I’ve seen this season. A picture of defiance over darkness, hope holding on.
My brother, David died of cancer 2 1/2 years ago.
He was an “everyone is welcome” guy. A “we’ll leave the light on” guy. A “stop by anytime…come as you are” guy. But since his death, the house has looked shadowed, like it was grieving too.
Until now. Until this small act of defiance, by my sister-in-law, Susan. A courageous act of choosing Life.
Susan chose the small, but significant act of putting up Christmas lights.
To me it shouts, “I will NOT let the darkness win!”
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
God made us for Life – life in relationship with Him, now, and forever. There’s nothing the Evil One would like more than convincing us that the darkness of loss and pain are too much, too pervasive, to allow us to ever walk in the light again.
Courage doesn’t mean the darkness doesn’t exist. It means you don’t give it the power to control your life.
Many of you are experiencing pain, and loss this Advent.
You need to be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to say “no”. Choose what will nurture and sustain you. Draw near to Jesus.
But I also know that you can make choices to courageously light a candle in your darkness. Your tiny light may look like
- just getting out of bed in the morning
- finding one thing to thank God for
- calling a friend
- listening to worship music
- serving someone else
Every year our church has a special worship service at the beginning of December, specifically for people struggling with darkness and loss during the Christmas season. Each person who shows up is courageous…choosing light over darkness.
This year we opened with this song. I pray it encourages you.
God will make a way through the darkness. I’m cheering you on as you choose the defiant act of lighting a candle.
What are some ways you are bringing light to the darkness?