Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Deep Shadows and Golden Light

The autumn sun drops swiftly through the naked trees and the golden light spills into our living room cutting shadows in the gold pooling on the floor. The day is stretching out, ready to tuck itself into the night as I hear the tick-tock of the clock -- another indication the day is almost done. Sitting in the silence in the golden pockets of light, the metal click of my heart valve ticks faster than the clock above my head.

That heart valve that Dr David put in six years ago, that was supposed to let my heart keep on pumping blood for decades, is tragically closing in with scar tissue. That’s what doctors believe is happening without actually cutting into my chest and handling my heart once again. No one can tell how long it will take before the tissue growth will make the hole so small it will be impossible for my heart to pump blood to get oxygen to the rest of my body. It is casting shadows in my life and it’s reminding me that my time here, well, it could almost be done. I’m collecting days like a string of pearls, every one precious.

I turn the tragedy around in my mind like I try to patch up pastry that has too many cracks. The more I struggle to fix it, the more it falls apart in my hands. It will never look right. How can I process all the impossible choices ahead? Do I accept a rare complication or choose an irrational intervention? How do I hold it all together and stop the insides from pouring out making a mess of life? How do I dish out a sloppy attempt at living here when there is a glorious banquet already prepared in eternity?

The darkness creeps in and makes me choke. It's an agony that I can't swallow. I don't want the darkness. So I keep looking because I keep learning that in the darkness even the smallest flicker of light radiates hope. It is in the darkness that light shines the brightest. I look for the light. I'm flailing in the darkness. I look to the Light. I don’t know where else to look.

When you read the story of Scripture, when you crack it open right at the beginning, your eyes catch the first thing God created when He spoke into the darkness was light. And it was good. He separated the light from the darkness and “God called the light day, and the darkness he called night.”
(Genesis 1:5)

We are in the middle of the story right now. In the middle of the darkness and decay and death and we are all groaning. We are looking and longing for peace, for wholeness. We want all things to be made right. We don’t want hearts to stop and life to be taken too early. We agonize in the shadows. We rejoice in the glorious shining radiance of the Lamb who suffered and silenced death.

When you get to the end of the story, there is a final vision of that which is yet to come. It solves the riddle of life and death, of darkness and light. For all those who have looked to the Light of the world, turned and trusted in the Lamb who was wounded, “they will see his face . . . And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)

The hands that keep time have given me just over half the years we have come to expect. I don't know how many more I will get to string together. I desperately reach out to grasp more pearls, yet just like the night swallows up the sun every day, it feels like they are slipping through my fingers. I know God has all my days all numbered and one day I will see his face and night will be no more. Until He calls me home, to find my final rest in Him, I will keep looking for the light in this darkness. As I live in Christ, trusting his death was death to all death, the radiance of his glorious shining feeds my hope.

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