The days are getting short. The light is coming later and leaving earlier while darkness invades more of our time. Each day we lose a few more minutes to the night. I wake up in the dark, tripping over yesterdays shoes on the way to the light switch. An hour later it is still dark. Two hours later and the sky is finally turning that misty gray before the sun comes up. At last it is high in the sky, and then all too soon we head indoors as dark begins to set in again. The season of darkness is here.
I’m spending my mornings in 1 John these days. Slowly, carefully, I examine each verse. I wonder how many mornings I’ll spend on the same page until the words at last sink in past my analytical brain and into my thirsty soul. John says a lot about light. And I’m so hungry for light at this dark hour.
As we obey this commandment, to love one another, the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in. -I John 2:8 (TLB)
Maybe this is the answer to all the darkness. The physical darkness and the darkness that doesn’t come with the setting of the sun but rather hangs heavy at our hearts as we trod through this hurting world. Maybe we have the strength to push aside the darkness, to pull back the black curtains and dissipate the dense clouds that are hiding the light. Maybe this is how we could bring some light into our short days. Maybe we can do something. Like striking a match, like lighting a candle, like flipping a switch on, like stepping into the rays of sunshine.
Maybe we could just love.
An extra back rub in the morning. A warm cup of coffee made especially how they like it. A friendly smile as your eyes meet. A listening ear when they want to ramble. A small gift, unexpected and unasked for. A criticism withheld. A whole hour playing make-believe. A few more minutes before rushing to the next thing. A door held open. A load lifted. A meal put in the freezer. Warm cookies on a plate, covered with foil. Laughing at his joke. Returning her phone call. Biting back the insensitive words. Raking the neighbor’s leaves. Sitting up in the dark with the sick child. Getting a glass of water for the hundredth time.
Maybe this is how we’ll make it through this darkness.
With every gesture of love, every kind word, every sweet favor, every warm touch, every extended gift, the light begins to come on. Slowly at first, flickering like a lonely flame. But watch as it grows. It doesn’t take long for the shadows to be chased out and the glow of the light to reach every corner and every space.