FROM THE DARKNESS
My life and death experience from cardiac arrest in September 2020 has been a year of living life through a new lens following 68 years of life. Newfound lessons are everywhere. I wondered today how so many are doing when the familiar structures of so many are disintegrating before their eyes? In this time of quarantine and social distancing, so much of what we expect from our lives has disappeared — routines, rhythms, connections, livelihoods, health. Most all miss normalcy. But how do we respond when so many face fear and confusion?
When our emotions ping-pong between alertness and apathy, concern, and numbness? In such seasons we are often called to let go of the hopes, expectations, and dreams we had at that moment. When things take a turn from what we expect, our first reaction is often resistance. The challenge in meeting such realities is yielding or submitting and finding the way around and through. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:32, “ Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. One of my favorites comes from Ecclesiastes 7:8, “The end of a matter is better than the beginning, and a patient spirit is better than a proud one” The writer Byron Katie says, “Whenever I fight reality, I lose … but only 100 percent of the time.” From yet another perspective, we need to engage our situation with curiosity.
In my new life, everything seems to be the subject of curiosity. I walk into a dark room, and I initially see only undifferentiated darkness. But once my eyes get accustomed to the dark, I discern different contours, shadows, shades of gray and black, and perhaps even a bit of light coming in under the door, all of which I never noticed before. The next moment, I grasp my new reality's complexity, and I then see the sparks of light and goodness within it. This offers us the chance to undertake a daily practice by asking ourselves the following: Where were the sparks of light in my day?
Was there a moment when I was able to bring light to someone else? Of course, I am speaking about the love and light of the Messiah. Did I see the chance to offer a kind word, and a sincere thank you, or a word of hope that buoys a heavy load in someone’s life. Essentially, every day is filled with surprises and opportunities for growth if we allow our eyes to adjust to the darkness and remain curious. When we are open to what is and curious about what we can find and become, we will notice new things growing.
Perhaps we will grow more patient, more flexible, and more compassionate with ourselves and each other. Perhaps as a society, we will act more boldly to care for the most vulnerable among us. Perhaps we will treasure and support the heroes of everyday life — you know, frontline healthcare workers; or service people in all areas that seem to maintain that normalcy we want back.
Truly, out of the darkness, I pray that this pandemic will transform us for good and that we will be able to find rays of light in helping a hungry soul that needs to be fed, a wayward heart that needs the love of Messiah, and the message of salvation. Truly, only Yeshua offers a rudder to navigate these dark stormy times.