"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful Thoughts: Combating the Darkness

It's late tonight, the little clock on my computer says 11:22 pm (since it, like my body, still thinks I'm on the West Coast), and my watch, actually set to the place where I am, says 1:22 am.

But tonight I'm thankful that in the past few days I've had a chance to catch up.

I've caught up on rest because my mom has graciously watched Lucy in the mornings.

I've caught up with my mom, listening to her stories and telling her some of my own.

I've caught up with myself a little bit, remembering precious things and thinking about where I am and what's next.

I've caught up on my Google Reader Queue.  Here are a few posts that really spoke to me:

My friend Mike writes in his post Seasonal Affective Disciplines about the things we Vancouverites turn to during the LONG winter nights for comfort (coffee, alcohol, Vitamin D supplements) and how to fight the darkness:
Maybe it’s because I’m now in my fourth Vancouver winter, but vitamin D doesn’t seem to be doing the trick anymore (nor, sadly, does my regular patronage of both 49th Parallel and Parallel 49′s respective wares). I find that I’m hungry for something more substantial, for seasonal affective disciplines of significant, radiant effect.
I may have found one.
(You'll have to read his post to find out what he suggests, but it's a good one!)

On the same theme of darkness, so appropriate to this time of year, Kevin writes in a post at To Sir, With Love about spiritually dark times,

My good friend sent me a note this week. He’s in what he says are the darkest days of his life. Then he quoted Abe Lincoln, who confided to a friend, “I’ve got weary that rest can’t reach.”
I know a little of how he feels, having gone through a similar stretch. It came on me unawares, like a mist descending at day’s end, only the next day it didn’t burn off, only grew more opaque. I fought it, but finally gave up, succumbing to the referee’s standing ten count, my gloves too heavy to lift. 
This is a theme that is only too familiar for me.  My situation is different from Kevin's.  Everything is going really well in my life right now, I'm facing Giants, experiencing personal victories, and finding out what God has for me.  But I'm worn thin and fragile.  The tiniest things feel like THE END OF THE WORLD.  We've had a lot of life-transitions and I've had a lot of physical pain this year.  I probably should have taken more Vitamin D (instead of all the coffee and alcohol that even in small amounts seemed to have diminishing and even negative returns).  It's going to take a while to fully catch up.  But that's okay.

So tonight I'm thankful for the chances this week to curl up in a little spot of sun on my parent's living room carpet and soak up the light.  I'm thankful that even if the going is still a little rough, even if it doesn't quite feel like the sun has risen to shine into our Valley of the Shadow, the sky is grey with its promise.  Soon the glow will be rosy pink, and then we will feel the warmth on our face and our eyes will be blinded by the brilliance. (Strange, isn't it, how both the darkness and the light can be so blinding). Sometimes, like Megan at SortaCrunchy, in both the darkness and the light I need to remember the Holy One, and repeat to myself: Blessed be He.


  1. One of my pastors once said that our valley's are a time of rest before we begin the the tough traverse of assent of the next mountain in our path. So even though the sun takes a wee bit longer to pop over the last mountain we previously conquered, to dazzle it's brightness into your valley, be encouraged and take pleasure in this time of resting. The sun will shine and the warmth will hit your face very soon. Relish the moments