When I was in grade school, our school experienced overcrowding one year. Some genius administrator decided that to solve the problem, there would be two school sessions with one being a morning session and the other being a late afternoon session. Enrollment in each session was determined by where your last name fell in the alphabet; unfortunately, my letter of the alphabet fell on the afternoon session. That meant that I was miserable and bored every morning knowing many of my friends were enjoying school. The afternoon session started at 1:00 pm and got out in the evening.
To get home, we sometimes took public transportation. The bus dropped me and my two siblings off near home but we still needed to walk down a long dirt road. It was a road lined with tall berry bushes, which we enjoyed during the summertime because we could pick the berries and eat them along the way. However, in the evenings that road was scary. Our parents warned us that sometimes robbers hid in the bushes waiting for people to walk by. We knew to never wander and walk straight home. Often, there would be light posts with lights that had burned out creating long stretches of darkness. We walked peacefully in the light but as we approached darkness, we would take off running as fast as we could until we arrived at the next area of light where we felt safe again.
Long ago Plato said: “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
It’s easy to get discouraged by the dark acts we read about everyday at the hands of those who choose dark ways. Yet I believe that there is always hope amid darkness.
Today, I was thinking of a promise Christ once made: “I am come a light into the world.” “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
I am reminded of a song I learned as a child. I’ve hummed its words in moments of fear and discouragement. It is one of my favorite church hymns.
“The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength. I know in his might I’ll conquer at length.
My weakness in mercy he covers with power, and, walking by faith, I am blessed every hour.” -James Nicholson (1828-1876)
This week, let us walk in the light. Letting it shine for all to see and feel of its warmth.