I find the hours just before dawn to be the darkest. It is a time when everything, yet nothing can hide. The darkness is overwhelming. It feels as if it will always be this way, even as I know a new dawn will come.
As I sit in the quiet after my middle-of-the-night class, I found myself reflecting in the darkness. Dark Night of the Soul written by John of the Cross, a 16th-century Spanish mystic, was a fitting reference. The one thing I know with certainty at this time of day is that truth cannot, will not hide. Whatever truth is within is out on display. One may want to say something, but what will be said is the truth. I can see it. I can feel it. It is tangible and must be faced.
As I looked at the lamp in the corner, the glowing light reminded me of multiple lessons.
The truths and reality of my life is material I can use to write today. They need not define today’s chapter. They are useful inputs, learnings, and gems I can use as I exercise my freedom in writing my journey. If I ignore them, I only increase the risk of repeating yesterday’s mistake.
Divinity is extraordinarily patient and yet increasingly unable to let me flounder in a mess of my own making. The old warning remains true in the present; I am “not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment.” (Romans 2.5). The judgment and action will be merciful and compassionate, yet restorative at the same time.
Even as I fear the darkness beginning to overwhelm me, I realise there is a calling, pulling me to live out compassion, care, and community. It begins within, restoring, transforming, and then works without. The focus is on me and, with the dawn, expands to others. It is a well of deep caring, a dark centre from which light erupts.