Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Punching holes into the Darkness

Let's be honest.  

Sometimes life is just overwhelming. With certain situations I ask with hesitation,  "Is it possible darkness won this time??". 

I don't feel like I have solutions or resources or prayers or words to offer... 

Is there enough light???  Will the darkness overcome everything else? 

Almost a year ago, in a church staff day retreat I heard the following statement - "Punch holes into the darkness so light can shine thru...".  

What?!  I scribbled it quickly in the margin. 

I honestly don't really remember anything else we talked about that day. 

I was so taken with the charge and freedom of this action.  What a beautiful way to empower the body of Christ. 

I love that the light was not overcome by the darkness as it says in John 1:5,  "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it".

But I forget that I get to step in and join the process.

I am empowered.

I get to punch holes into the darkness so the light can shine through.  SHINE THROUGH!!!!  The light is still here.  Even if we can't see it.  Even when we can't see it.

I don't have to wait for someone else to reveal the light to me.  I get to take action.

I spent quite a bit of time this past week thinking about all the ways that I get to punch holes in the darkness:

Prayer (What a beautiful, powerful and life giving gift we've been given through this action)
Phone calls and leaving messages
Messages over text, email, twitter, instagram and facebook or whatever it needs to be
Reaching out to someone that others have given up on
Offer grace instead of judgement - to others AND myself
Empowering teenagers to find their gifts and strengths
Helping teenagers take the risk to use their gifts and strengths
Noticing others and making a point to affirm them
Challenging myself and others to see each other the way God sees us. Again and again.
Asking others to share how I could stand with them.  And then actually doing it.
Collecting money or items for people who can't do for themselves.(Josephs Storehouse)
Supporting ministries (Open Table, Nashville) that stand in the gap for the less fortunate
Celebrating victories with my friends who are taking risks for the kingdom. Too many to list but currently pretty proud of my beautiful friend, Mary Ann
World Vision's 30 Hour Famine or SIFAT's "48"
Sponsorship of a beautiful child named Emily in Zimbabwe.
Experiencing life at an orphanage in Haiti (like Sur La Roche)or Nigeria or any where and sharing their story
Telling or retelling stories
Getting to be a part of changing the culture of a youth ministry or a church
Being a real friend
Running a marathon every year to raise money for the National MS Society in my sister's honor
This list could go on and on...

I also give HUGE thanks for the times that others have punched holes into my darkness.

I still feel sadness in certain situations when I just don't understand why... I know I don't know the entire story.  I don't know what God knows.

Today I am remembering Lee and his family and I will tell his story. I don't know all of it.

But I do know that it isn't over.  His story will help me punch another hole and let the light shine through.

I was wondering where the line "Punching holes into the Darkness" originally came from.  According to the internet -  Robert Louis Stevenson grew up in Scotland on a hillside.  And one night he was watching the lamplighters who would climb a ladder and light the torches on the street lights... his parents or his nanny asked him what he was looking at and he said, "Look at that man!  He's punching holes in the darkness!".

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