Monday, 16 November 2009
Light, more Light.
I've been thinking a lot this week about light; Light and dark, Sunshine, Stars, Light bulbs and fairy lights, Night lights on the stairs, Candles. And I've been thinking about darkness; Night time, winter mornings, shadows and bad things. And Jesus; Light of the World, light in a dark place, "Let there be light", light chasing away dark.
It started because I was listening to Mumford and Sons, a song called "Roll away Your Stone", which I love, and there's a line of it "Darkness is a harsh term, don't you think? Yet it dominates the things I've seen". It made me laugh because describing the world as "dark" is very un- me, It's a bit too Conservative/Evangelical for me- a bit too dramatic, and a bit too old school. But increasingly, I feel more and more aware of how dark the world can be- how twisted and messed up and violent things can be. There's the things I hear about at work- the hidden, everyday, violent stuff that goes on in our cities- the seediness and sadness of sex work, the tragedy of drug addiction and how it steals from people, the everyday terror of domestic violence- all the sad and dirty and scary things that happen where we live, even though we pretend they don't. And then there's the stuff in our lives' and our family's- the secrets that eat away at us and the shame of hiding things from people that we love.It reminds me of the Sufjan Stevens song, "John Wayne Gacey Jnr", about a serial killer, who killed boys and hid them under the floor boards and Sufjan sings "But in my best behaviour, I am really just like him, look beneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid"- we all hide things under the floor boards- sad things and secret things and dark things. And sometimes, it can be overwhelming this darkness, it can seem hopeless and sad and too much.
But it's November and Christmas is coming and the other day, I was walking along the harbour at night after seeing a friend and it had been a hard week and I had spent a long time talking to my friend about all this dark stuff that seemed to be around me and I was walking home, and I saw these workmen (and women) stringing up these Christmas lights from lamp post to lamp post. And suddenly they turned them on and they were beautiful and reflecting all on the water and what had seemed so dark and sad suddenly lit up and took my breath away. And Christmas reminds me of this- it is perfection and beauty and hope bursting in to a dark world like strings and strings of fairy lights turned on. The Light of the World came to bring hope to this dark world and suddenly, it seems like dawn is breaking on what's been a long night.
And the world is dark sometimes- full of secret things and hard things and horrible things and things that are hard to say out loud- but a Light has come and that has changed things. It doesn't mean that we should be naive and say there isn't darkness and it doesn't mean that we should back away from the darkness into the light because we're scared but it does mean that the darkness gets chased away, scattered, pushed back by the hope we have. And I am asking for more light in my life, more hope and more daylight and more dawn and more Christmas lights strung out across my life. And I'm looking forward to seeing how that looks.