When Did You Become Afraid of the Dark?

open doorAs a child, I insisted that my mom keep the light on in the bathroom, which was near to where I slept.  I was afraid of the dark.  I’m not exactly sure when my fear began.  I believe it must have been after my father passed.  Prior to that time, I would actually sit in the dark in our living room waiting for him to arrive home from work with no fear.  Yet after his death, I no longer found peace in the dark.  Instead, it was a reminder of what bad things could occur when I was unable to see clearly.  Its been 40 years since my father passed, and yet there are still times, that I don’t feel comfortable navigating my way in darkness.

Darkness in my youth represented the space by which negativity dwelled.  However, as an adult, darkness is reflective of a time and space by which I am unable to see a viable and tangible solution to a problem.  Unlike normalcy, it is not something that I believe is under my control and authority.  In fact, no matter how I attempt to maneuver the pieces into a perfect algorithm, I must come to a resolve that I am simply a part of the equation and not in control of the outcome.

Interestingly enough, I was afraid of the dark when I was the only one awake in the house.  While everyone else slept, there I laid in bed, hearing normal noise amplified like never before and seeing shapes that resembled scary beings.  However,  there were other times when the same said darkness would serve as a intriguing backdrop for my folly.  The most joyous hide-and-seek games went forth outside in the dark with friends frantically screaming and scrambling to make it back to home base without getting caught.  The best kept secrets were shared in the dark during slumber parties.  Block club parties after dark provided enjoyment that lasted for hours.  And as I got older, the later I was allowed to stay out at night equated with the greatest potential for fun.  But as you know, the most difficult lessons are learned in isolation; in those spaces and crevices where there seems to be no God.  And no matter how much enjoyment I experienced in the dark in my youth, my uncertainty of operating in darkness became magnified as an adult, specifically an adult who elected to follow the light of the world.

Darkness is not always the result of something bad happening.  I tend to think of it as a space between a no and a yes.  Its uncertain.  Its unclear.  Its incomplete.  Its constraining.  Its restrictive.  Sudden movement can be detrimental, and no movement feels hindering.

I shine his character.  I radiate his love.  I illuminate his wisdom.  I share his brilliance.  Shouldn’t that make me exempt from darkness? You already know the answer.   If you’ve ever gotten out of bed during the night and attempt to walk around, you may find it difficult.  But after you adjust you can move freely, and actually see the same things that moments ago were invisible to your sight.  We are told in John 8:12: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  We can take comfort that Jesus is available as our light.  When we place our faith in Christ, moving and operating in the dark becomes a little less difficult.  I’m not suggesting that it goes away. As shared earlier, there can be good things that occur in the dark.  Just as most of my fun in the dark came as a result of being with my friends, as a believer, I can instead take comfort that my fun as well as my hardness can take place with Christ nigh.  I don’t have to feel isolated with self, but instead fellowship with Christ.  In darkness, I can benefit from only his voice and communion.  I don’t have to worry about being overshadowed by others.  I can be comforted that in my darkness, he sees me.  In fact, he always sees me.  He does not need to adjust his eyesight to recognize my shine.  He is my home base.  He is my shelter.  Can’t you hear him? Its safe to come out.  Ally Ally In Come Free!



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