Holding the Light of Life
Yesterday on my way home from church, I learned on the radio that three more policemen were gunned down in Baton Rouge. I cursed under my breath. Not again. But it has happened again. The darkness is so strong that at times it seems it has taken over. Our news inevitably focuses on the darkness, so sometimes it’s easy to forget that the darkness is not winning and that it cannot win.
Part of our calling as Christians is to hold the light for all to see. This morning I needed to be reminded of the light. I needed to see the life around me rather than the death in the news. So here are two pictures to remind us of the power of life.
This is Mae Bell and Evie Wray, twin daughters of my good friend and colleague in ministry, Megan Huston. Megan is on maternity leave with them now. This is life. This isn’t in the headlines but this is the life that is all around us. We hold up the light against the darkness because there is nothing more beautiful or precious than life.
This one may be hard to make out, but this is Bennett, my younger son. Yesterday as we were lounging around on a lazy Sunday afternoon, he started to head outside. I asked him what he was doing. “Nothing!” Earlier we had been talking about signing him up for soccer this Fall. So on his own without telling anyone a word about it, he went into the garage, opened the garage door, brought out his soccer ball on the first trip, and then hauled out his soccer goal on the second trip, staging his own soccer practice so that he could get better before his season starts. When he heard some thunder in the distance, he took one trip to put his ball away, one trip to put away the goal, and then closed the garage door to come back inside. I felt a strange mixture of being tickled and being proud, close to the verge of tears.
I needed to remember these images today. Not so that I could just escape and pretend that all the mess of violence in our country and in our world doesn’t exist. No, I needed to remember these because this is why I stand up against darkness. This is why I hold up my light.
I hold my light to look for the grace in life. Frederich Buechner describes it well:
The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.