Around the corner, into the dark

where there is darkness, light;

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When the sun’s down but it’s still light, I walk to the library to water the learning garden. It takes some time because the hose is in the front yard and the garden is in the back. So I bring my watering can and make ten trips from front to back, bringing water to the hostas, chives, and just sprouting purple beans. Each day, something new appears in the beds – lettuce and spinach shoots, the dahlia unfolding its purple leaves, and weeds appearing fully grown out of nowhere. Peaceful.

But Wednesday got away from me. It was past eight o’clock when I got to the library, and it was dark. The lights in the front made it easy to find the hose, but when I went around the corner I entered full darkness. My feet remembered the path to the back, but it was too dark to see the garden beds, much less the plants in them. I had decided to turn back when the light came on. Triggered when I walked into the back yard, it lit the way for my ten trips. It snapped off right when I left, no longer needed.

Sowing light in the darkness to help others find their way to the garden, to do the work they’ve set out to do. It’s indirect and necessary – not doing the work of others, just providing enough light to avoid the roots and stones that might prevent them from doing it.

Many have shed light for me. With God’s help, may I do the same.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Around the corner, into the dark”

  1. A sower of light–what a great thought to carry. Having known a few who seem to enjoy sowing darkness where there is light, sowing light can be a choice that makes a difference in other’s lives and certainly in my own.–not in some Panglossian manner but in a sincere desire to help my brother/sister see a better path “around the corner”. God’s light shinning through us–wow!

    1. Why does it seem so attractive to sow darkness? To make the path more dangerous rather than less? The shadow self at play in the world rather than accepted and attended before sowing darkness in the lives and paths of others? As always, you make me think. Peace, Johnna

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