The Light Always Emerges
By Eileen Dooling, RSM
Each morning my day begins with a rich cup of coffee sitting by a window, placing my day before God. I watch intently as the darkness slowly yields to the light and I am never disappointed. Some days the sight is magnificent with brilliant reds, blues and purples. Other days it is more subdued. And still at other times (like today) the change is so subtle I hardly notice that the day is here. However it happens, the light always emerges…showing me a dusty room or a dirty window or worse! Without the light I hardly notice that housecleaning is needed.
Leonard Cohen sang, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in…” Many cracks have emerged these days, in government, in church, in our institutions, and, as others have pointed out, these fissures have shown us ourselves… in the walls we erect to keep out those who are different from us, in our indifference to persons who are poor, in our desire for revenge when we are wronged, in our thirst for power and control, and the list goes on. The light is getting in, like it or not.
I sometimes pray with the Scripture passage, "Come to me all you who are overburdened…for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 20) Often this light is interpreted as ‘not heavy’. But I wonder if light might be a noun instead of an adjective and that the light, that seeing of the truth, is in itself the burden. The light shows me where I need to houseclean. The light shows me myself and I can no longer hide or ignore the truth.
Instead of being overwhelmed or disillusioned these days, we need to reach out to one another, to offer for discernment our discouragement, our confusion, our vulnerability, and even our failures. The cracks can teach us not how to caulk to keep out the light, but how to reach across the abyss and hold on to one another. My experience tells me that there is strength in community and wisdom as well. We are not helpless. Acting alone will hardly change the state of our world, but working together can change everything. After all we are all a part of this human family and we are “just walking each other home.” (Ram Dass)
Let us hold each other carefully and tenderly in these troubling times.
I know It is time for some housecleaning at my place. That darn light exposes too much!
Have a blessed Lent!