Finding Light

This morning I enjoyed reading a guest opinion piece in The New York Times by psychologist and author Mary Pipher entitled Finding Light in Winter. I live in Michigan. And currently, we're heading into the darkest days of the year. It makes sense I was drawn to the essay.

Pipher mentions that in addition to dark days, we're confronted with "the darkness of wars, a dysfunctional government, fentanyl deaths, mass shootings, and reports of refugees crawling through the Darien Gap or floundering in small boats in the Mediterranean. And we cannot avoid the tragedy of climate change with its droughts, floods, fires and hurricanes. Indeed the world is pummeled with misfortune." She says that if we are empathetic and awake "we all share the pain of the world's tragedies in our bodies and in our souls." Yes! I hear that. I resonate with that. I feel that.

Yet Pipher believes that whatever "is happening in the world, whatever is happening in our personal lives, we can find light." Thanks be to God, I believe that, too!

I don't know if Pipher seeks after the same Light of the world that I do, but I do think that some of what she goes on to recommend in the essay can help us find both more light in our days and more of the Light of God who came to dwell among us always.

Pipher proposes that this time of year we must look for light. She writes, "I am up for sunrise and outside for sunset. I watch the moon rise and traverse the sky. I light candles early in the evening and sit by the fire to read. And I walk outside under the blue-silver sky of the Nebraska winter. If there is snow, it sparkles, sometimes like a blanket of diamonds, other times reflecting the orange and lavender glow of a winter sunset."

So, maybe we in Michigan don't often get to watch the moon rise at sunset because of the clouds... and clouds and clouds and clouds... like for six weeks straight sometimes. But might we still try to be outside at sunset sometimes to breathe deeply, lift our faces heavenward and give thanks for the people, the beauty, the small joys of life that bring light into our lives and point us to the Light of the world? I might just try that for a little while. How about you?

John 1 - 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.