Befriending the Darkness
Velma Ruch, Herald Publishing House, 1994, reprint 2018, pp. 86-87
From Summoned to Pilgrimage: The Temple as Focus of a Pilgrim People
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. -Isaiah 11:1-4a
A major question we face on our pilgrim way is how we can befriend the darkness, how we can make that which seems so destructive turn around and reveal a benign face.
I had a dream recently in which I was in a house with many rooms. Into that house came an enemy bent not only on my destruction but the destruction of my friends as well. I was chased from room to room and tried many means of escape but was frustrated in them all. Finally, there was no place to go and I found myself face to face with this “enemy.” I was terrified, but direction came to me from somewhere, “Breathe on him.” I did as I was told. Something remarkable began to happen. The “enemy’s” face began to change. It was like the peeling off of masks. Under the horrible outer face was a kindlier, beneficent one. As I looked on, marveling at this transformation, I woke up.
I lay in bed for a long time trying to understand this dream. … I am certain that one could find many meanings in such a dream. It has much to say, for instance, about our relationship to others, about the reconciliation possible through the “breath” of the Spirit. But it seems to me it also has something to say about darkness as our perceived enemy. We do try to escape, but when such evasion is no longer feasible and we confront the source of our suffering and allow the winds of the Spirit to blow through us, we find that that which we thought was so destructive can be made to yield blessing and even joy. Our darkness can be a place where God waits to meet us. It is in our brokenness when we have run out of all our personal manipulations that we can come to most profoundly know the God of reconciliation and healing.
We are one in Christ.
Week Four: Think Globally, Act Locally
The world conference community represents spiritual communities from cities, towns, and villages around the world. Each comes with distinct experiences that impact how they see, hear, and respond to the community as a whole. Some issues that are discussed will seem far removed from your own daily realities, but they may be close at heart for someone else. Notice your own local context as preparation for this global gathering. What dreams inhabit your community’s imagination? What concerns rest on people’s hearts? What practical matters impact your ability to share in ministry? Where is the Spirit at work in the realities you encounter in your daily life? How does your own local context and experience both restrict and expand your ability to engage in broader dialogue?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.