We were at DID this morning. Very glad D asked me along. It would otherwise have been another exteriorly rushy-yet-rootless, interiorly noisy-yet-barren morning and probably restless & fightful night later.
I wasn’t afraid to step into pitch black; it felt like a physical mirroring of what the year since last Advent has often felt like. Granted, I had many reassuring factors in place this morning: foreknowledge that there was no real danger; the company of 2 friends whom I trust, respect and love; K’s firm and friendly voice, speaking as one who is visually-impaired; and certainty that the end would be in sight within the hour.
I was still surprised by what struck me.
Had to rely a lot on feeling the things around me. Realised how much I paint pictures in my head, translated from what I hear, feel, smell and taste. The pictures in my head mostly appear in colour on black. And many of the pictures are based on memories of things, people and places I’ve known in the light.
Kept listening out for my friends’ voices, and judging (or misjudging!) how far/near they were (poor S!). Similarly, K’s voice. He shared with us what it’s like to live without physical sight, and named the ‘creatures of the dark’ we could not see. It was comforting enough to hear their laughter and just fumble my way about. Whenever they called for me by name, I would reflexively perk up and get back on track (or apologise profusely).
At a later point, finding myself not at the end of the line, and becoming a voice my friends could follow instead. I was still in the dark and so were they, but I could share what I did know and feel – and it seemed to help.
Darkness and blindness are, of course, great metaphors for (spiritual) life.
Do my dark seasons train my ears to hear God better?
Do I still reach out in my dark seasons to experience their textures, however vulnerable I may feel and tempted I may be to self-numb?
Do I hold fast to my Ebenezers, remembering and trusting what I know of God – the I AM – when I was last in the light?
Whose voices and counsel do I permit to accompany and influence me, in dark times?
Do I allow God to use the blessing in my unknowing, for another person’s strengthening?
When noises within and without disorient me, how do I walk on in a way that honours Him?
If each bump of life was like a Braille dot, what would the message of my life be?
And perhaps most importantly:
When I misstep and fall in the dark, can I trust that I do not fall beyond the saving reach of immutable Love that sees perfectly?
In the dark, He still calls us by name. We are still seen.
Darkness was the needed light.