“For you are all children of light and children of the day;
we are not of the night or of the darkness.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:5
At the end of each heart-shattering day, I am unable to "leave work at work.” Instead, I am often plunged into a deep and frightening darkness. The epistle writer's sunlit assertion that we are children of light couldn't feel farther from my own daily experience. The radiant imagery seems to mock my clients' suffering and alienates me from my chosen faith. I feel challenged to find faith as a child of the dark.
Often, I feel that this darkness is something I have to clench my teeth and plow through as quickly as possible. I am afraid that, if I don't hurry through it, I might remain waiting on the platform for the rest of my life, having missed the last train out of this place, the train that would take me to the dazzling light of day, the eternal light of Heaven.
During Advent, however, instead of being asked to push ourselves squinting and blinking into the daylight, we are all called to be more deeply in and with the darkness. Night stretches out her fingers, making familiar things strange, beckoning us under her wing to embrace the hidden possibilities beneath. So many of us are impatient to get to the bright pageantry of Christmas, forgetting in the process Mary's long wait, her sense of expectation, the pains of her labor. Perhaps today, instead of rushing toward the holiday, we might pray with Thomas Merton, "Lord, I am waiting for You in the darkness. ... Do not let me ask any more than to sit in the darkness and light no lights of my own. ... Thus, through the darkness, may I come to your brightness at last."
Lisa Levy has been attending St. Stephen’s since February 2013. After spending several months attending the Word and Table liturgy, she now attends the 10:30 service. She has recently begun attending Kadosh Adult Formation and is a pilgrim in the Inquiry/Journey class. Lisa loves being a member of a Foyers group, and she is looking forward to beginning service as a Lay Eucharistic Visitor. She hopes to increase her involvement in the St. Stephen’s community in the coming months