Darkness Invades from the Land of Mordor and a Merry Christmas to All

Carly Christmas Tree

Donning the tree with my granddaughter

I wake up in the pitch dark.

Blinds drawn tightly to give privacy, I cannot see the light of the new-fallen day. It could be 5 a.m. It could be 10 a.m. Heck, it could be noon. If I want to see daylight I must tear open the shutters and throw up the sash, or check the snazzy clock beside my bed. A present from the 19-year-old last Christmas. (Okay, enough of Clement Clarke Moore’s timeless classic. But, I do hope you plan to read it this Christmas Eve. I will be reading it to my granddaughter. The words of it are already running through my head, obviously.)

But, to continue.

Light invades the darkness of my room the minute I turn on my bedside lamp, or my IPhone 5c (blue, if you’re wondering) flashlight. Here’s what always amazes me. Darkness can never, NEVER, win. Darkness cannot overcome light. Think about it, one tiny match lit and a whole room is seen. The light invades the darkness and darkness cannot stop it. I know, you already know that it only-takes-a-spark-to-get-a-fire-going. Well, me too, but light/darkness is one of nature’s dichotomies that never stops fascinating me.

I also wake up to the pitch darkness of my soul. Yes, a bit melodramatic. I agree. Stop rolling your eyes, because, really, don’t we all? Aren’t we all waking up to the pitch darkness of our souls, and asking a crucial question, do I matter?

Do I matter?

Do I matter to myself, to anyone, to the world?

Do I matter to my family, my friends, my spouse, my children, the girl/boy across the room, my employer, my dog (you always matter to your dog, btw), the universe?

Okay, so maybe none of ya’ll are waking up with that question buried deep in your souls, and you’re thinking no wonder she writes a blog. She has a LOT TO WORK OUT.

Well, yeah, I do. Here’s the deal. I always knew there was a very important question lurking in my soul, one I had never asked myself, or even bothered to find out what it was. But, it wasn’t until I started waking up in this dark room alone that the question presented itself. Spouse gone, kids gone, home gone, friends gone. The little empire I had built for myself gone, and just me left (not literally in one sense, but in another sense, yes, literally)  And there in the darkness, right before I turn on my light, is the question. Do I matter? That’s my question anyway, maybe you have a different one.

If you’re my mom, you’re going to comment on this post, with a yes, honey you do matter, but the question goes beyond the grasp of a mother’s love (which in this world is the closest we come to infinity). The question takes you to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor, and drops you off (guess what movie I saw Monday night). There, the Dark Lord Sauron would like you to think that darkness wins. That he could actually overtake Gandalf the Grey’s light, and destroy him. Please. We all know the ending to that story, but still, Gandalf has to face the darkness.

And so do I, IPhone flashlight in hand. And, so do you.

That’s the truth in Tolkien’s books. The darkness is coming, and it will invade your land. And, you will awake in pitch darkness. And, you will have questions, deep, soul piercing questions. This is a true statement. Your darkness is coming. You don’t get to avoid it anymore than I do, even if you manage to outrun it for a bit, or keep yourself very busy with your empire while in denial.

So, that’s a happy Christmas thought, eh? Maybe.

Maybe it is exactly the Christmas thought we need.

If darkness is going to overtake our lands, (I’m talking personal here, lets not take the Mordor thing too far), then we need a light to help us see, and to penetrate that darkness. For what is the world if not a dark and often scary place?

That’s what Christmas is. The announcement that the Light that has come into the World. Jesus.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John1:1-5

Jesus is not a metaphor for light. He is light. He is the light that lights your journey. He is the light that outshines the darkness. He is the light of life. HE IS THE LIGHT OF LIFE. Meditate on that. If the world finally implodes on itself, and the sun is no more, there will still be light, because Jesus is, quite literally, light. He radiates it. We are transformed by it. Jesus isn’t a self-help theology, he is the light of the world. Creator of all things. Creator of me. I matter.

If I lie still in my dark room just a bit longer, and allow my question to be spoken in the dark (Do I matter?), if I  allow my fears to rise up before I jump up, if I do that, and don’t turn on my bedside light or tear open the shutters to see the light of day, if I can just be patient one fraction of a second longer, then the miraculous happens. Or maybe it is not so miraculous that the Creator comes to the created to speak, to reveal, but he does. Jesus’ light comes into my darkness, and answers my question. Creator of the universe, beacon of light, speaks. You matter. All is well. Merry Christmas.