After darkness comes the light- Nepos
"A dark day for America. We now have experienced the worst mass casualty in modern history. 59 souls and counting.
Indeed, it seems to be dark times in America and around the world. We are out of sorts; the politics, the weather, one crisis follows another. And is it just me, or do we seem a weaker, sadder, less resilient species of human being than our grandparents?
Last night it was a gunman in Las Vegas. Today and for the next weeks, it will be circular, ugly, ego-driven arguments on social media about gun control. Meanwhile, people are hurting, grieving, angry, and needing other human beings to stop the madness and help them get back on their feet- spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
In times past, people gathered in churches, on porches and in cafes to talk about their world. Their world was smaller, but the powers at play were the same. Politics, fear, war, disease, natural disasters, murder. The difference was the human reaction. Reaching out and touching a shoulder. Seeing a facial expression. Other humans help us to heal. And so many of us are hurting, it is really hard some days not to hole up and sling insults on a screen about why what we believe is more important.
I think we have become hardened by our pain and suffering , insulating ourselves against the world by buckling down on "our side" of the argument or issue. Becoming more close minded and closed off in a world of ever expanding knowledge and information. And when we do that, we become stuck and shut out others. By all accounts, the man behind the gun last night lived in a world of his making unknown to those around him.
Grace is by definition "the unmerited divine help given from God to humanity for their regeneration and sanctification." For regeneration. And sanctification. Which we could definitely use about now. Grace is given freely, asking and expecting nothing in return. What if each of us practiced a tiny bit of genuine grace toward others in our circles? Our individual pain and darkness would become less even as we help those around us. Because when we give grace, we also receive it.
I believe the darkness in the world right now is begging for light. The book of John says "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." The world we live in today thrives and is powered by darkness of every kind. It does not easily recognize or seek light. The more isolated, fearful and angry we become, the more darkness expands.
Darkness, by itself, however, is nothing. It is only the absence of light. Light is energy. And power. Our light, small and insignificant as it may seem, is capable of piercing the blackest night.
Whatever it is we have the opportunity to do today to bring light and grace and good to our world, let's do it. Sharing our art, a smile, a meal. Helping a friend, having a conversation with our children, returning rudeness with a kind word. Whatever we can do, it's one more light in the world and a little less darkness.