To Become Light

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We humans contribute to the world’s gloom,
like dark shadows on a dark landscape.…
But now this man from Nazareth comes to us
and invites us to mirror God’s image,
and shows us how.

He says:
you too can become light, as God is light.
What is all around you is not hell,
but rather a world waiting to be filled with hope and faith.
This world is your home as surely as the God who created and wrought it is love.
You may not believe it, but you can love this world.

It is a place of God.
It has a purpose.
Its beauty is not a delusion.
You can lead a meaningful life in it.
~Jörg Zink “Doors to the Feast

 

 

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In this dark world we search for inspiration and a sense of purpose in the most unlikely places:

this past week, we were awestruck by the devotion of a mother killer whale in nearby Puget Sound who has carried her dead baby on her nose for over a week,  unwilling to abandon the lifeless body to the sea.

There is tragic beauty in such demonstration of profound love, a recognition of our own losses and helplessness in the face of death.

We too are carried by our Savior through His relentless devotion and love for us, never to abandon us.

Even in the face of loss and consumed by the darkness of the world, we love as we are loved, body of His body.

 

180727142642-killer-whale-orca-dead-baby-1-exlarge-169
photo from the Center for Whale Research

 

HOW TO SWIM AN ELEGY

Lo, let that night be desolate;
let no joyful voice come therein.
Let them curse it that curse the day,
who are ready to rouse up leviathan.
—Job 3:7-8

This is a job
for your barnacle-wrecked body.
Grief, it turns out, is too much
for the mind. It enervates
the yellowed enamel of your
ground-down molars; chafes at
the skin sack separating your water
from the world’s water. Keep
your chin up. Not because
the sympathy cards tell you to,
but because the horizon’s gone,
replaced by a blubberless body
you must dive for again and again,
as it slips and sinks—body of your body
that you must propel to the surface
over and over, each time discovering
for the first time the lie of perfect form.
Three days and three nights,
across the Sound, afterbirth
trailing behind, swim
until your forehead becomes
an open tomb. You must balance
the weight of your old life on your nose
until the sky disappears and you become
a spectacle for pleasure-boaters.
Engines throbbing, they will point
as if the calf’s a rubber ball
you can’t put down.
The captain will turn on his mic:
No-one knows why. Instinct? Spirit?
It’s almost human. This will be
your signal. Swim closer, closer
until the binoculars come down
and they flee the railing,
recognizing in your dead
their own.

~Craig Van Rooyen—from Poets Respond

 

4 thoughts on “To Become Light

  1. “I Am the light of the world.”

    “In the darkest night of the year,
    when the lights have all gone out.
    Courage is better than fear,
    faith is truer than doubt.” – “Ultima Veritas,” Washington Gladden

    -Alan

    Like

  2. All the thoughts expressed here come at a very appropriate time in our bleeding, discordant, nation’s history — not the first time — but this time seems to be so
    different. I have read each presentation several times and each time, my heart was filled with hope and trust because I do believe that His Presence is always with us — as Isaiah’s message from God tells us: “I will not forget you; I hold you in the palm of my hand.’
    The frightening, ominous signs appearing worldwide, including within our own nation, point to the possibility of terrible events in our near future. That is the perfect time for us, then, as followers of Christ and for those of other faith traditions to try with all in our power to be the LIGHT that is so desperately needed,

    Thank you, Emily, for your contribution and those of others in today’s posting. My soul has been fed, assured once again, of the hope that He brings to us….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I heard about the mother whale days ago, it really tugged at my heart. We don’t have all of the answers and who knows what that whale was thinking or feeling. I am thankful to know the one that does..

    Liked by 1 person

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