I have found that spiritual, emotional, and physical healing can begin even in times that are darkened, cold, alone, silent … when I still my heart and contemplate the “treasures of darkness” (Isaiah 45:3). One of the sweetest treasures of darkness is the realization that we are not alone. This realization encouraged me anew this winter as I contemplated that nature also experiences the waiting that has become more acute for us during a pandemic winter.
In much of the Northern Hemisphere, at least, we have been waiting for lighter, warmer days of nature’s renewal. And during these days of Lent we also recall, again, Jesus’ crucified body waiting in a dark, cold cave of death. When Jesus “woke up” in that cave of a tomb, did he open his eyes to darkness? Or did his open eyes, his very breath and resurrection-life energy, shine light into the darkness even before the stone rolled away? John wrote that Jesus is the light and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5).
We can experience moments during periods of waiting that are holy, even healing. One recent morning I sat in meditative prayer in a corner room of our basement. That room has two windows with below-ground-level window wells. During the summer, toads and tiger salamanders dwell in the window wells. My grandchildren like to look for them. During winter, these denizens of the deeps dig into the earth and wait in darkness, finally emerging again in late spring. On that cold, sequestered pandemic morning I was thinking about these creatures—and my own sense of waiting—when this poem came to me:
There is no heartbeat
in a seed
Yet life waits
in that brittle encasement
as surely as in the stilled
breathing and slowed
beating heart of
toads and salamanders
in winter deeps and
sleeping bears in caves
Waiting, waiting, we wait
in lengthened nights and
chilled soil and cloistered suns
for warmer, lighter, moister days
From on high—and pulsing
in the depths—we hear
“Wait… Wait… Be still…”
I did, I am, I will.”
#1 It takes darkness to see stars and a bright moon.Spiritual stars are in Hebrews 11 & 12 v 1: They are the cloud of witnesses. One of my favorite verses in ch 11 is 38; That even if I do not get what I would like in my stillness, I still have faith based on v 6. Then I know he has rewarded me in the past. (Now for me as I write this.) and I look forward to the
AM for His new mercies of blessed songs I will get as soon as I* awake. So, when now & in the AM I’m not blessed I still can think of my rewards in the past as I count my blessings.
#2 As you wrote Jesus is the light. In the future Jesus will be the sun light. But now His light shines on us like the reflection on the moon. making us the light also.Matthew 5 v 16. So we need to be ready to give our testimony when anyone asks:for it. ” ! Peter 3 v 15.
Thank you for sharing your reflections, Herbert Orr. Your words express how we hold to hope, and the many encouragements we are given, as we wait. All are treasures, aren’t they?!