Got A Light?
Stepping outside of my front door in winter is like being front row at an IMAX showing. Rain, wind, thunder and snow, the Golan Heights gives good nature. I’m not the most outdoorsy gal on the block, but I have gotten pretty good at watching new weather move in. The sky here is huge, and watching it change helps me remember that I am both big and small all at once. (It also makes me want to drink out of mason jars and get a dog and call her Country).
Just the other day I watched a big storm arrive. A shadow fell across a bright-blue sky as big, bossy clouds rose from the east. In packman style they started to eat up every shred of blue, dusting off the shine of day.
I watched wide eyed as dark-grey powerhouses of storm clouds spread and darkened every trace of sun that was left of the morning’s sky. The stronger, bigger and darker those clouds became, the more I forgot about the sun. The sky became dark in a way that made it feel like the whole world was dark.
And then, something wonderful happened.
Rather suddenly, a patch of gun-metal grey clouds shifted, and for a few glorious moments the sun made the sweetest little golden-gloried cameo, as if she were taking a final bow. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was long enough to remind me, that darkness doesn’t tell the whole story. It’ll have you think it does, but really, darkness just has a special knack for hiding the light. Light doesn’t actually disappear, it just gets hidden behind the darker stuff.
That vision of the peek-a-boo sun shine has stayed with me as storm clouds of a different variety sweep through Europe and as they continue to rain on the Middle East. As the darkness of evil casts its heavy shadow across the bright light of a free-to-be-you-and-me, blue-skied and hopeful humanity – I have to remind myself (often) that a primary function of darkness is to push us towards the revelation of light.
Chassidim tell a story of a man who was sent down to the basement by his Rebbe with the task of “conquering” the darkness. He slashed at it with knives, beat the darkness with sticks, and hurled sharp and heavy words at it. Alas, he resigned himself to the fact that he couldn’t overtake the darkness. The Rebbe joined his dispirited student downstairs and struck a single match; they watched in wonder as light reached every corner of the room. He turned to his student and said, “My son, a little light pushes away a lot of darkness.”
I’ve always loved that story. It’s like it’s brand new every time I hear it. That’s what truth does – that’s what light does, it keeps giving back, keeps radiating. Light illuminates just about anything when we let it shine.
In the same way that feeling sick tends to drive us to seek health, or that the threat of death pushes us to be more alive, darkness too demands of us to seek light. It may be too early in the mourning process for some to consider, but I am so, so tired of grief and grieving. I want a new drug.
So I’m striking a match in defiance of darkness, in defiance of grief and bad news and I am inviting you to join me.
Here’s what I want to do: For every scary story I hear, I want to share a hopeful one. For every sad and painful event that befalls this world, I want to look for the healers, the helpers and the builders in the crowd. I want to promote those stories. I’d like you to join me. I am not promoting ignorance or naiveté, on the contrary, I am suggesting that we not allow darkness to have the final say on what’s real and what matters.
Truth: I‘m not going to always remember that the light is hiding, so I’m gonna need you to remind me from time to time. So I say we do this together… let’s remind each other that as thick as the darkness may be, it doesn’t tell the whole story. We owe it to the sun and to ourselves and to our kids and to our Creator and to each other to not forget about all the stuff that the dark clouds hide.
Join me in sharing good, positive stories that we all so desperately need to hear. Let’s go Mr. Rogers on this world and “look for the helpers.” Let’s get our inner Chassidic Rebbe ON and start striking that darkness with a little light. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve got: #GotALight?