The Light That Illuminates All

Candle of hope

No, I’m not talking about the sun. We’ve only see a little bit of good old Sol for a little while here, but the grapes love the much-needed rain. I don’t mind it either. 🙂

I’m talking about that special light that shines through people’s eyes. Where does it come from? How can one person be in the pits of despair but the person next to them is glowing with this light? I believe that our worlds are born of our perceptions, and that life is as light or dark as you choose to perceive it. Last Tuesday, I had one of those life-changing moments that I hope I will not forget as I age.

I attended the Tenebrae service at our church. I had heard of Tenebrae, but had never been to one. It is the service that leads off Holy Week, and is the service of the growing darkness of Jesus’s death. It’s not a rollicking party of a service. It is filled with Jeremiah’s Lamentations, and I could feel the shadows growing longer with each set of readings. There are seven sets of readings during the service. Each set of readings concludes with the extinguishing of one of a set of seven candles, symbolizing the transit into darkness. At the end of the service, only one candle remains lit, symbolizing the hope of Jesus’s return, and the church is completely darkened. On quiet night upon which rain clouds gathered and a storm’s arrival was imminent, the effect was beyond amazing. Something about that final candle caught and held me, and an eternity passed in that time. In reality, it was probably only a couple of minutes. During that time, I felt the assurance that all would be alright as long as I followed the light. Those are the only words that I have to express it, although the entirety of the experience was far more. The image of that candle is etched in my mind, and I reach for it when I feel afraid about this particular part of my journey.

I think that the awareness of that light inside us is what illuminates people. Conversely, its absence leads to despair and hopelessness. I think back to the times of terrible anxiety and bottomless despair, and what I recall is the feeling that I was all alone and cold. When I pass through that time and think clearly again, the warmth returns and the despair seems ridiculous. I think that we humans have a tendency to forget that our souls are intertwined with the Creator, and that the light of love is always there. We only need to acknowledge it to experience it.

So tonight when I was asked why I wasn’t more upset and worried about this part of my journey, all I could answer was that I’m simply not. I have been told by the highest authority possible that everything will be just fine. After that experience at Tenebrae, I completely trust that knowledge. I don’t know how it will all work out, but trust that it just WILL. And the result will be extraordinary.


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