By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 8, you were once darkness
I always struggle with imagery of light and dark during Lent. Historically, the metaphor has been conflated so that darkness—including skin color—represents evil. Darkness is not equal to evil, but is used to describe a state in which it is difficult to see. To be darkness is not about being evil, but instead about embodying what one is not able or willing to see about themselves, others, and our social constructs. To be light is about the purposeful movement toward truth and love. It’s about being honest with ourselves about the intentions and impact of our actions. It’s about our willingness to receive information. It’s about our willingness to witness. There are times in our lives when we are not willing to see our own hearts. There are other times when we are not willing to see circumstances around us. Lent is a season of revelation, where we look into our own hearts and see what lies there. It is a celebration of information—with the knowledge that we might not like what we find. We must not dismiss the authenticity of information with which we disagree or disheartens us. The hard work of Lent is to prepare our hearts to receive that which we never thought possible.
Prayer I stand in the dark, God, not seeing clearly. Show me a different way.