Peace. I wrote this last night. It was a terrible night. The dog got sick around 3:00. I’ll spare you the details but it involved getting him and the rug onto which he expressed his inner self out of the house and into the subzero cold at a time when all God’s creatures should be snug in their beds, fast asleep. It would have been a rude awakening, had I been asleep.
I did not sleep much after that, expecting more of the same. And I had not slept much before that because the sadness of this year came to visit me… my own Christmas Carol, with some regret, but more just the heaviness that surrounds the loss of friends, family members, and the losses in the congregation most recently.
So you may choose to not read any further… it won’t be light-hearted. Just so you know. I wrote the following in the wakeful, fitful hours this morning. It is what I intend to offer as a reflection for the Service of Light and Hope this evening, December 14th, in the chapel at 5:30.
There are times when it seems that all is lost – the most precious person, the treasured relationship, the long-time connection, the work into which you have poured yourself, the time and place that was your world, your life, essential to your very being – gone with that particular loss.
You can’t see or hear or feel with reliable depth or clarity – the world around you has gone flat, empty, without light or life. It’s hard to breathe, to think, to do the most basic things. You forget what you have or have not done. You’re not sure what to do now.
You go through your days and they all seem the same. The distinctive things lose their definition and their defining power… nothing matters.
People who care about you may tell what to do, what you need to do to get going again, what you should do to make them less uncomfortable. It is well-intentioned for the most part, though it is often for themselves as well as for you.
But, even if you felt like doing what they suggest or urge, or had the energy to act as they advise, you don’t care. Why bother? It doesn’t matter… there is just deep emptiness inside that feels like it will go on forever. It is so dark. And that darkness seems to have won.
It has not. I know you can barely hear that right now – but it’s true.
There is light, faint though it may be for you right now, it is there… hiding deep within… positioned just out of reach of your tired eyes and weary heart. But it is there, and it will grow. It will expand and deepen and grow stronger. One day, it will take you by surprise, large, bright, powerful enough to catch you, surround you, fill you, keep you.
For now, know that it is. And let it simply be, settling into that inner place. Hold that soft, bright warmth. Let it do its work… until it joins the larger light breaking through. It is coming. It is on the way.
PS. Ozzie, the sick dog is fine this morning. I know you’d want to know that.