universe of stars

By Carolyn Sowinski
March 16, 2015

Chaos, then creation

Darkness, then light
Creation, the first day
And it was good.

Blackness, then stars
Creation, the fourth day.
And it was good.

Broken and blessed
In darkness, called
In darkness, shout back
Darkness, shattered by light
Darkness, shattered by truth

Lost, claimed by God
Light embodied
Light from Light.

Child of the Light
No Darkness at all
Death, then life

The Brightness of God

* * * * * * * * *

For the past few weeks I have been reading and hearing text regarding light:  in the creation story, in music and hymns, in prayers, in books.  When I see recurring themes, I know that I should pay attention and ponder on the idea of light breaking through darkness.  Here are some of my questions, my readings, my thoughts.

I grew up in rural Minnesota where we had little man-made light pollution.  So at night we could see the stars, the constellations, the colors of the northern lights, and the Milky Way galaxy.  The enormity of the darkness with the distant light enveloped me when looking at the night sky.  And light pierced the darkness.

Darkness is the absence of visible light.  Is darkness useful?  Necessary?  Uncomfortable?  All important in a horror movie? At times, fun?  Until we experience darkness, we cannot understand or appreciate how light relieves us from the darkness.   There are different kinds of darkness–environmental, emotional, spiritual.  Our bodies need darkness for sleep and rejuvenation. In emotional darkness we may experience emptiness or despair.  Yet, this may be part of a larger growth process.  How can we know and experience happiness and joy if we do not know the opposite?

Here is a quote from Barbara Brown Taylor in her book Learning to Walk in the Dark,I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion.  I need darkness as much as I need light.”

Lyrics from the song Falling Star by Lizabeth Flood:

I see a falling star,
inside my head
I wish that I could ride it,
those endless trails
never stop.
People come and go
I sit alone
inside a world of my own
beneath the trees and skies above me.

A land of rainbows,
a world of magic
that’s where I wanted
to go.

I live inside a place
with many bars
outside the door I knock on,
oh please someone
can’t you hear me.
Oh dear God
keep me alive
so I may break
out of this crazy world
and go back where I belong.

I see a falling star inside my head,
I wish that I could ride it
please take me home again
please take me home again.

Spiritual darkness may be more profound and more long-lasting as we struggle with loss, with prayers which seem to be unheard or unanswered, with the feeling of an absent God.  Here is a useful list of action steps we can take: Twelve Ways Out of Spiritual Darkness by Victor Parachin.   Number 5 is “Let your gifts and talents lead you”.  I have used this step when all I can do is show up and participate, using a familiar phrase:  Fake it ’til you make it.  I also say my shortest prayer:  “Help me”.  On which of these steps do you rely, when you are in spiritual darkness?

May God the Father, light-creator; God the Son, Light from Light; and God the Holy Spirit, light-revealer, bless you today and tomorrow–and give you peace.  Amen