Time for a Walk in the Dark

If you are in the middle of your life, maybe some of your dreams of God have died hard under the weight of your experience. You have knocked on doors that have not opened. You have asked for bread and been given a stone. The job that once defined you has lost its meaning; the relationships that once sustained you have changed or come to their natural ends. It is time to reinvent everything from your work life to your love life to your life with God – only how are you supposed to do that exactly, and where will the wisdom come from? Not from a weekend workshop. It may be time for a walk in the dark.

If you are my age, you are losing a lot more things than you once did – not just your keys and your vision, but also your landmarks and your sense of self. You are going to a lot more funerals now than before. . . .

Learning to walk in the dark is an especially valuable skill in times like these – or maybe I should say remembering how to walk in the dark, since people of faith have deep pockets of wisdom about how to live through long nights in the wilderness. We just forgot, most of us, once we got where we were going and the glory days began. . . .

Meanwhile, here is some good news you can use: even when light fades and darkness falls – as it does every single day, in every single life – God does not turn the world over to some other deity. Even when you cannot see where you are going and no one answers when you call, this is not sufficient proof that you are alone. There is a divine presence that transcends all your ideas about it, along with all your language for calling it to your aid, which is not above using darkness as the wrecking ball that brings all your false gods down – but whether you decide to trust the witness of those who have gone before you, or you decide to do whatever it takes to become a witness yourself, here is the testimony of faith: darkness is not dark to God; the night is as bright as the day.

 – Barbara Brown Taylor in Learning to Walk in the Dark


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