The constant news cycle, the haze of uncertainty and the physical isolation from those I love has been casting a shadow over my daily life lately. I have found myself struggling to find optimism in the midst of doubt, a trait I’m typically prone to. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this feeling, as we all wade through unknown waters together.
In the midst of these uncertain and tumultuous times, I have been trying to turn outward, toward the light. I walked a familiar trail at camp this week to find the season’s first tiny flowers sprinkled alongside the path. Some magic combination of sunlight and soil temperature and snow melt makes these particular flowers push through the earth early each spring. They’re not a particularly remarkable flower- not nearly as intricate as the glacier lilies that dot the hillsides in late June or as carefully cultivated roses in gardens across town. It’s in these simple flowers, easily overlooked or stepped on along the way, that we find the first spark of what’s to come.
I have been dwelling in poetry and lyricism these past few weeks and have been repeating these lines from Sleeping at Last when I find myself swirling in uncertainty and fear.
“But the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard
Is that I don’t have to have the answers
Just a little light to call my own
Though it pales in comparison
To the overarching shadows
A speck of light can reignite the sun
And swallow darkness whole”
(from Emphasis, Sleeping at Last)
In not having the answers, I am trying to find grace & patience for myself, knowing that the little light I call my own remains.
The Gospel of John begins,
“What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.”
(John 1: 4-5 (MSG translation))
In the midst of uncertainty, fear, questioning, anxiety, loneliness (the list goes on and on), we can find comfort in the Life-Light that blazes out of those shadowed places. God with us, among us, within us. God’s love shines and illuminates our emptiness, even as the questions remain. God does not presume to answer all these questions, or to immediately cure us of our grief & pain, but promises to accompany us through it. The spark of light remains.
It is my solemn prayer that you might find the spark of light that gives you hope today– the first flowers of spring, laughter with virtual community, a song sung aloud. The Life-Light blazes in the darkness, and the darkness cannot put it out.
Kyle Lefler serves as the Associate Director at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp and has called Montana home for nearly six years. Kyle is passionate about working with young people in God’s Creation and striving to create intentional community spaces where they are unconditionally loved & accepted, empowered & advocated for. She loves early morning lake swims, handwritten letters & the Avett Brothers.