I woke up this morning about ten ’til three and am still awake almost two hours later (gotta love insomnia due to pain and discomfort). I didn’t want to wake the sleeping child, but was hoping I could read myself back to sleep, so I opened up the Blue Letter Bible app on my phone and started reading the book of John, again. Mind you, I’m probably one of the most heretical Christians I know, since I frequently question the veracity and validity of the Bible, in it’s many translations and variations, at least inside my own mind. However, I do believe and have faith in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer. The fact that I struggle to hold onto those beliefs in the midst of depression and regularly choose to fret, fuss, and fume instead of act on them does not mean I lack faith. It just means I’m human and am still a work in progress, moving forward.
The opening verses of John state that in the beginning was the Word. The word was with God and the Word was fully God and that through the Word all things were made. It goes on to state that in the Word was life that is the light of mankind. That light shines in the darkness and darkness has not overcome it.
My apartment is filled with darkness…much like my inner thoughts and emotions have been due to the depression that I have continually lived with since adolescence. Yet, it isn’t complete darkness. The little red numbers on a clock, the ambient glow from the street light outside, silhouetting the blinds, the various colored led indicators from several electronics scattered throughout the apartment all shine through in the dark and provide enough light to keep me from bumping into walls and falling over furniture. Darkness does not overcome these little spots of light, even though it permeates my home.
Darkness permeates this world – all the horror stories of what humans do to other humans, the reports of natural disasters & famine, and the ongoing decay and decline of the economy and the environment. Hatemongers and conspiracy theorists abound. It’s way too easy to find all the reports of darkness online, in print, and on television. However, even in the midst of all of this darkness, there are bright little spots of light. The driver who actually chooses to follow the rules of the road and allow a mother walking her toddler to cross the street in the midst of rush hour traffic where there is no crosswalk or signal; The laughter of co-workers teasing and joking with one another; a “friend” on a social networking site sharing a picture and sentiment intended to bless, inspire, and share hope; The smiles, giggles, and laughter of a child who is seeking attention and connection – these are all little spots of light in the midst of the darkness of this world. While there are larger lights out there, they may not always be something to be found in the midst of darkness that seems to encompass and occupy the space all around. Sometimes, these little lights are the only things that we can focus on to keep from being completely overwhelmed by the darkness.
Whenever I get too bogged down in the darkness of my thoughts and the circumstances of my life or what is happening in the world, there is always something that shines through it to shed some light and give me hope that somehow I will come through the darkness and experience the light. This gives me hope. For this reason, I believe in Jesus and have faith in Him. I want life, I want light, and I choose to look for reasons to have hope and faith.