The first time we passed through this darkness, I remember James held me a little tighter as he exclaimed, “Dark!” “I’m right here. I’ve got you,” I said. And like so many other times in this relationship, I glimpsed the heart of God in my small, mundane life. How many times have I cried out to God, “Dark!” And, if I am willing, I can feel the arms of God around me, even to the point of carrying me, as God whispers in my ear, “I’m right here. I’ve got you.”
My husband, who is a musician, will often talk about people getting dark. Usually it’s a director who’s addressing the band. It was a piece of language I wasn’t familiar with the first time, so I pressed him to explain the first time he used it. For him and for the musicians he’s around, dark is when someone is being brutally honest, really telling you what the problem is – it’s critical but not personal. It’s sometimes necessary to get dark.
Well, brothers and sisters, it’s time to get dark in our faith. It’s the Thursday of Holy Week, the day when we remember Christ’s last Passover with his disciples, as he gathered with them around a table, fed them, washed their feet, while knowing the betrayal to come. It’s time for us to own our faults, the ways in which we betray God daily in our words or actions. Yet, even in the midst of these things, as I lament by failings, I know that, no matter how dark it may get, God is there.
Fortunately us, this liminal space is just that. It is a threshold between here and there, a “time to remember and move on” (This is a Day of New Beginnings, UMH #383). We don’t stand here in the in-between space any more than I stand for any length of time in the laundry room with my son. We experience the darkness, we know it for what it is whether it’s inside or outside, and we move forward to embrace the light. For nothing helps us savor the radiance of resurrection like the dark.