“In The Dark There Is Light”

Blog 731 – 08.23.2017
“In The Dark There Is Light”

Monday there was a total solar eclipse visible across a ninety mile swath over the United States from the north western corner to the south eastern shore. The last time that happened was ninety-nine years ago. I thought of a phrase from a Randy Newman song “Almost Home” that I made the title and launching pad for this piece. Just as love is like a light in the dark, no matter how dark it may seem there is light even in the darkness. Tom Bodette, in the familiar motel chain commercial, says, “We’ll keep a light on for you.” One that we know and trust even more than Tom has promised the same thing, to never leave us totally in the dark. Even the night is day to Her/Him.

For a guy who is always looking for an encouraging word to share I never have to look very far. Over the weekend I saw a wonderful movie called The Glass Castle. The movie starts off tragically with a little girl being terribly burned and much of her young life is filled with hunger, longing, and disappointment but there are moments even amidst all that darkness where there is such light it lifts your spirit. Her seldom-do-well, addicted, and broken parents have little to share with their children but dreams and unkept promises. One Christmas night after spending what little money the family had on booze, dad takes the children one by one out into the night and has them lay looking up at the sky and then tells them that their Christmas gift from him is to pick out their own star. He says when other kids toys are broken and forgotten that his children will always have their own star. Crazy and disappointing, yes, perhaps but ingenious and poetic too. How could you not love a daddy, even one so messed up otherwise, who could still find light in the darkness and even half if not completely convince you that picking your own star was better than a Christmas feast or a shiny new toy?

Life seems for many of us a series of unfortunate events punctuated by briefly periods of sunlight followed by long dark nights. But even in the darkest night there is light. Most of that light is from stars and you not only get to pick one, you are one. If all the other stars, even the one that you picked is hidden by the clouds you have enough light within you to still shine brightly. As an old gospel songs said, “Let the lower lights be burning. Send a gleam across the wave. Some poor drowning, struggling, seaman, you may rescue you may save.” Let your light so shine that others along with you may see the way home no matter how dark the night.

Your friend and fellow traveler,
David White

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