“. . . darkness is my only companion.” — Ps 88:19b (BCP)
There are often times in our lives when, like the psalmist, we feel wholly alone. We wander as though in a Wilderness, with no guide; with only Darkness as a companion.
There are many reasons for this dark wandering, but the story I hear most often has to do with self will, or pride. We really are thick-skulled folk, and most of the healthy choices sound too pat or cliched to be true. So we stubbornly try to do things our way.
Perhaps we use the moon as a guide. But the moon is remote and fickle; she is indeed a harsh mistress. And eventually the time will come when we are left with darkness as our only companion.
Or we throw yarrow sticks. Or we become existential atheists. Or we live for the pleasures of the dance floor and the bedroom. Those of us who have lived these sorts of lives know how utterly lonely they can be. When darkness is our only companion, it can be a form of living death.
But there is a light which can break through this darkness. It shines constantly, but it often seems we must be in the Tomb before we can see it. This light is cast by the Lord of Light, who is Lord of Lords.
Those of us who have wandered in the Wilderness with Darkness as our only companion have lived out a timeless story. It is the story of a Man Who Died, and yet lived again. It is a story which seems impossible to believe, yet we must believe because we have lived it — though in miniature.
It is a story we continue to live. It is present and fresh to us today, often with a greater vibrancy than the 6:00 news. And we know that the same Lord of Light who breathed life into the Man Who Died continuously breathes life into us. It is by this grace that we find the quiet space which is filled with a peace that passes understanding.
Originally written & published May, 1985