In which I am a speck of light in a dark world

I long for light.

Advent, then, should be the perfect time for me. It’s about waiting and preparing for God’s light to come into the world. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it – but the horrors I see on the evening news make that hard to believe. (You can’t get much darker than children being murdered in their classrooms.) Surely the darkness is winning, isn’t it?

I still believe light is stronger than darkness, and I believe light would conquer darkness, if only it would come. If only I could find it.

Sometimes I forget that the light is within me. I forget that Christmas has already happened and that God’s light is already here. But even when I do remember, how can I possibly shine enough light to make a difference? Why even bother, when my best efforts are so weak?

Then again, it’s when leaves fall dead from the trees and the days grow dark that we dig into the cold earth and plant bulbs. It’s when raging winter storms have taken out the power lines that we strike a match and light candles. In the absence of hope, in the absence of light, we act. Why should it be any different now? Now, in the face of great darkness, to act in hope and faith and love is to bring light.

It’s true that any small kindnesses I am able to offer, any joy or peace I am able to convey, may seem insignificant. The darkness is so great, and my light so small. But even though my light may be a mere pinprick in a vast expanse of black, it is something. And even a pinprick of light is enough to allow me to say with conviction, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.