Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Monday, November 16, 2020

Waiting for the Light

All the great Celtic festivals begin with a celebration the night before…


These reminders that everything begins in darkness and emerges from night, much like the great womb of our own birthing, offer some solace and courage to welcome the darkness in our lives.  We might, perhaps, begin to see the fertile space of new life alongside the uncertainties and fears.  The invitation is to trust in that great holy night, the “treasures of darkness” which the prophet Isaiah writes truly exist.

                               Christine Valters Painter, “The Soul’s Slow Ripening” pp.14,15



I am not a fan of the dark

while fall is my favorite season

and I dearly love the snows of winter


I struggle with the long darkness

when the long day’s journey into night (Eugene O’Neill)

becomes a long night’s wait for day


darkness can be not only the darkness of night

when day dies to be born again


but also the darkness that is difficult times

and that inner darkness

which comes and comes and comes again


there are so many times when we struggle

and wait

those advents and lents of the soul


when we strain for resolution and release

for the coming of the light


there are lessons to be learned in the darkness

about what to grab hold

about who and what can be trusted

about what to let go of


there are lessons to be learned about ourselves

as our pasts trickle up from dark places

and thought come unbidden into the dark emptiness


for me this dark space

this time of pandemic and corruption

of hate, and fear, racism and authoritarianism


has been a time of “slow ripening” (Paintner)


I have been forced to think about what I believe

About the very nation of the Sacred

About what makes for success

About what is important, and what is not

About who I am, and who I want to be


It is not all bad

This darkness

This uncertainty and turmoil


There have been many nights, but also many mornings

Many challenges, but many changes

Many “deaths” but also many “rebirths”


And so I sit in the darkness

Not just hoping for, but expecting, the light

Expecting God to do God’s new thing

Expecting us to learn, at least for a brief season, some lessons

As individuals, as a nation

About love, and compassion, and generosity


I sit in the darkness, waiting for the Light

Seeking to be the light

I suffer through this “small death” knowing that resurrection will come




“In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree; in cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free! In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see”

                               Natalie Sleeth  “Hymn of Promise”


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