First the scandals of the summer, then New York’s new abortion law, and now with more grand jury reports on the horizon, the forecast for the Church and for society is dark, gloomy, and painful for a long time to come.
As Christians, we know that God has triumphed and that God will triumph over evil, but we must understand that God does some of his most amazing work presently in the midst of great darkness.
An attentive reading of scripture demonstrates this principle. God creates the world out of darkness. The first interaction in the love story between God and man is a process of making darkness bright. Among our deepest identities is our identity as children of The Light. Throughout the Old Testament God repeatedly responds lovingly to Israel’s laments as they find themselves in darkness. Finally, the greatest thing to ever happen happened within the darkness of a cave after we extinguished The Light of the World.
The fact is that God works in darkness. Not only does He work, He seems to work most brilliantly in darkness. God is a specialist in bringing light to darkness. Darkness is God’s wheelhouse.
This quality of our God is easy enough to comprehend but is often easily forgotten when we are confronted with darkness. In light of the current darkness we face, I am truly heartbroken, but I know that as the darkness grows, so the stage is being set for Divine action. As hopelessness draws ever closer, my hope grows. As the coming darkness pushes us further and further towards the depths of cynicism, the more confident we become that God hears us.
This is not to say that we should naively delight in our sorrow or superficially smile through our pain. This confidence I reflect upon is wrought in true sorrow and is a consolation born of a deep trust in God and a mature understanding of how He works.
A non-Christian might look upon the Church right now and see only darkness and scandal. Christians certainly see and feel this pain, but we experience all of it with hope. This is the completely radical and converse way Christians perceive reality. Because of the Person of Jesus Christ and our relationship with him, our experience of reality is flipped upside down. Everything is changed because of this relationship. Dark becomes light. This relationship is not a “nice little add-on” to help us feel good. This relationship is essential for survival. Jesus Christ is the light of the world, and is the only light that can guide us through the darkness.