It was pitch black. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, much less where I was supposed to go.
Do you remember where you were on August 14, 2003? That was the day the power went out, not just Toronto and Pickering but the whole of northeastern North America. Do you remember where you were?
I know exactly where I was. I was with a dear friend during the birth of her third child. What a night! Giving birth is scary enough but to give birth when the world around you is fearful and in complete darkness was not only scary, it was eerie.
We picked up my labouring friend from her home and Brian drove us to the hospital. Meanwhile my friend’s husband was stuck downtown trying desperately to get to the hospital in north Scarborough. There were no cabs, no buses, no subway service, no GO trains. It seemed that the world just stopped, and it was getting darker by the hour.
Because of SARS, Brian stayed by the car while I took my friend into the hospital.
Meanwhile my friend’s husband managed to find a bike and peddled his way north. He made it, albeit shaky, just in time for his wife to be wheeled into the operating room for an emergency c-section.
In the midst of the chaos, intense heat and pitch black darkness the most amazing thing happened. In the midst of all of it, the light of God shone through, and something (someone) beautiful was born.
I stayed with my friend until her husband recovered and her baby was delivered. After I was assured that mommy, daddy and baby were well, I went out to the parking lot to find Brian. Hours had passed by at this point, and by the time I came out of the dimly lit hospital, the world outside had turned jet black. It was unsettling how dark and how weirdly quiet it was. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, much less where I was supposed to go. I couldn’t see a thing. Nothing. I started to panic a wee bit.
“Brian” I called out tentatively into the darkness, “are you there?”
“I’m here, I’m over here”, and he turned on the car headlights. The light broke the darkness and I followed the light to where Brian had been waiting, for hours. What a relief to hear his voice. What a relief to see him! What a relief when the light broke the darkness.
We are not nocturnal creatures, like cats and bats who function well in the darkness. I think this is especially true of us spiritually too.
Jesus said in the gospel of John, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”.
Some of us are facing pretty dark and difficult times. Perhaps you are dealing with the illness of a loved one or you’re in the midst of a difficult relationship. Maybe you are picking up the pieces of some devastating situation. You may not be able to read/hear this now, but please try. No matter how dark your world seems right now, He is the light. And in a moment, in this very moment His light illuminates the darkness - like car headlights piercing through the pitch black parking lot - and His reassuring voice says, “I’m here.”
His light can illuminate YOUR darkness. His grace can forgive YOUR sins. His presence can bring healing to YOUR shame. And you will never be the same again, because when the light of THE world becomes the light of YOUR world, and you follow him, you never have to walk in darkness again.
His light breaks through the darkness and something beautiful happens. Watch and see.
This Sunday we are continuing our series called “I AM” where we are looking at the I AM statements Jesus made in the gospel of John.
This week I want to encourage you to invite a friend, neighbour or family member to join us as we celebrate Palm Sunday together.
As we enter into Holy Week, I pray that you will experience the worship services planned for Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Check the church website www.amberleachurch.ca for more details.
I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday!