This morning I see “green” showing up in the flowerbeds. It is the hyacinths, the crocuses, the daffodils, and even the irises, coming up out of the dark earth into the light. Spring is just around the corner. It may even come before its time because of the tropical warmth we are experiencing this week. Today the weather people are predicting a heat wave of 75 degrees!
The dark days of winter are passing away, slowly but surely, as they always do and have done for eons upon this earth. Yet I feel that we are living in the dark in terms of our religious and political life. The darkness grows thicker with every passing month (and primary) and I have no idea how much longer it will go on or how deep this darkness will become. I cannot see in the darkness of the present moment and I do not know what may emerge from it.
I do know and trust that there is One above the storm and darkness, One who knows what is in the dark. In the book of Daniel in the Old Testament the nature of God is being interpreted and it ends with this: “Wisdom and might are His. He removeth kings and setteth up kings. He giveth wisdom and knowledge and revealeth secrets. He knows what is in the Dark” (Dan 11:22, KJV).
History tells us that this is not the first time that darkness has enveloped us as a nation. It also tells us that these dark periods have, strangely enough, almost invariably been the birth pangs of a new day of light and hope. Just as nature brings spring out of winter with hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils bursting forth from the dark earth, so God gives “the treasures of darkness” to us in the form of new insight and hope.
Rufus Jones writes of a legend in the traditions of Creation which tells how, as the earth received its form and the waters were gathered into the seas, God sent out His heavenly host of angelic beings to scatter seeds of flowers and fruits and grains all over the newly created earth. The Prince of Darkness watched with hate and scorn this new stage of Creation and reacted by sending his crew of bad angels to destroy what the good angels had done. The bad angels were told to cover these seeds wth earth and so spoil the work of God’s angels. They did, and it was just what was needed to make the seeds sprout and grow!
I believe, as has happened since creation’s first day, that the darkness we are experiencing now will be followed by the light. I don’t know when, or how, but I trust that even now God knows what is in the dark.