et lux in tenebris lucet . . .

“And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5

We’ve been memorizing John 1:1-7 in English and Latin this year with our CC community (another perk for our family — something I would have never done on my own). So the kids and I begin most of our mornings singing a song our friend Ross wrote, swallowing these words whole, nourishing our spirits. Words like the Beginning. The Word. Light. Darkness. Believe. Most mornings, we sing together and then move on, but they’re there, these words, taking root and latching to our hearts, growing. The kids understand the natural light and darkness, these two constants neatly ordering our lives, our time. Light, we eat, play, work; darkness, we sleep. But I wanted a concrete way to touch the deep. A way to voice the unseen, the spiritual truth God is revealing through light and darkness, something so simple, yet profound: two spiritual entities vying for our affections. Good/Evil. Truth/Deceiver. Shepherd/Thief.

Enter glowing jars. (Thank you, Pinterest.) I bought a few packages of glow sticks, snapped them to light them up, and then snipped their ends, draining their neon goo into each mason jar. (Beware: the goo stains.) Screwing on each lid tightly (and questioning my sanity as I gave each of my children a glass jar with staining neon goo to shake around), we gathered in our long hallway, the only space in our home without a window. We closed all of the doors, shutting ourself into the darkness. And we watched them glow. The kids squealed and shouted, vigorously shaking those glass jars silhouetting their fingers. We talked about the beginning, about creation. We talked about light and our need of it. We talked about the Light and our need of him. We talked about bearing witness to the Light. We talked about the city on a hill. All in the darkness, with silhouetted fingers. And then they return to screaming and jumping with their glowing jars.

In that moment, I wonder about the Creator God and his time in the void, before even a “nothing” existed. What was that like: to think up all of creation? To create children? Did he stir with eager anticipation, awaiting his heart and mind beheld in flesh, even knowing the suffering he would endure in the process? The suffering we would inflict on his heart? Did he know one day we would sit with our children in a dark hallway with glowing mason jars, trying to understand him and know him? That we would look for him in one another’s sickness or infertility, trying to understand him? Did he understand then, in that void, how we would yearn for comfort, some balm for our hearts, to stop our hurting and to salvage our broken-ness? How we would follow in the darkness, at times with nothing but a silhouetted glow? Yes. The Beginning. The Word. Light. Darkness. Believe.

 

More food for the spirit: Sheet of Night, by John Mark McMillan

The devil’s dealing dirty
In broken hearts and counterfeit currency
The living isn’t easy
When a heart’s regret can tax the air you breathe

But like diamonds we shine
Up against the sheet of night
The jet-black sheet of night
We overtake the cityscapes
We scale the heights
We break but we don’t die

Whoa we’ve got a blood
We’ve got a love that’ll brave the flood
Whoa we’ve got a blood
We’ve got a love that’ll brave…

The cold will leave you guilty
And the wind will shake you like a tambourine
The dogs will leave you hungry
And your superiors will tax the blood you bleed

But like diamonds we shine
Up against the sheet of night
The jet-black sheet of night
We overtake the cityscapes
We scale the heights
We break but we don’t die

Whoa we’ve got a blood
We’ve got a love that’ll brave the flood
Whoa we’ve got a blood
We’ve got a love that’ll brave the flood

But like diamonds we shine
Up against the sheet of night
The jet-black sheet of night
We overtake the cityscapes
We scale the heights
We break but we don’t die

The devil’s dealing dirty
In broken hearts and counterfeit…

© 2011 Integrity’s Alleluia! Music/SESAC (adm at EMICMGPublishing.com) CCLI#5921928

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