Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness.*
In the midst of this weekend’s ringing bells, flashing fireworks, celebratory singing, many people experienced the soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness and an inky blackness. A friend once used similar words to describe herself when she dropped into the abyss of depression. But it’s not just those living with clinical despondency who feel this way. Political upheaval, chronic illness, unending loneliness also contribute to such despair.
Why write about darkness when we could simply don our New Year rose-colored glasses, sing happy songs and mouth platitudes? Because, I believe, it’s when we acknowledge—honestly face—the grim realities that we’re forced to look at—look for—the Ultimate Reality.
Moses didn’t stop his pen with nothingness, emptiness and blackness. His next words explode into the narrative:
God spoke: “LIGHT!”
Our bleak nothingness, our cavernous emptiness, our soul-destroying blackness can be gradually transformed by the entrance of God’s Light, by the One who said, “I am the light of the world.”
For some this Light whispers into the gloom as a flickering candle; for others, the Light momentarily blinds with its brilliance. Yet others are asked to seek long and hard for glimpses of the Light, confident only that the Light himself declared, “You will find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Instead of wishing each other a pithy “Happy New Year,” perhaps our challenge should be “Search for the Light!”
Search well and often, my friends.
*Genesis 1:1, The Message