Light flickers in the shadows of darkness. A candle’s flame struggles to stay lit in a breezy doorway; flames twist and turn in a fireplace, only made bright because of the darkness surrounding it. We are constantly and continually pulled between the light and dark of our lives. Sometimes the shadows seem to overtake us and we don’t ever know if we will be able to see the light again. Sometimes it seems as if we are condemned to live in the darkness of the valley forever, forgetting there is hope, and there is a light just waiting to explode in our inner darkness.
Sometimes I think it is our own secrets, our own hiddenness, our own desire to hide from God what he already knows that keeps us dancing in the shadows instead of dancing in the light. Sometimes, I think it is our external circumstances that pull us down into the depths of the valley, and we struggle to climb upwards, be that: depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, past abuse, or more. Sometimes the events that swirl and surround us create a cacophonous sound to which we struggle to hear the heart-beat of God’s song. But, eventually, slowly, and gradually we begin to hear it. The soft strains of God’s gentle voice welcoming us to come to Him wherever we are at, with whatever problems we might have. He calls us to his arms, his welcoming embrace, like the father who embraced the prodigal son, or how Jesus so willingly and completely acknowledge the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, receiving healing by a touch of his cloak, receiving freedom from public shame by his words. God calls us, we the bedraggled, beat-up, worn out, sick of living in the darkness human beings, and invites us to his arms, into his light which will explode our darkness if we let it. Yet that is the key, we have to let it, and we have to let go of the power of the shadows, and say instead, we want to be free.