by Greg Kennedy
Every one of us walk paths that we never imagined we were intended to walk. Paths that are more like unlit alleys cluttered with dumpsters filled with incurable illness, persistent depression, senseless tragedy, death, and shattered relationships. We are shocked when tragedy knocks on our door, even though this is the one thing that shouldn’t surprise us. In my view, some people weep, some isolate, some shut down, some get busy, but almost all feel disoriented when they walk through these alleyways. We are not practiced at navigating in the dark. We are at a loss when the energy that we so relied upon simply seems to evaporate. We don’t even recognize ourselves when any little annoyance can get under our skin and seemingly transform us into something less than we are. Every one of us has, or will, experience this fog and murk.
Disoriented or not, we still have lives to live, jobs to do, people to love, a Lord to serve . . . so how do we go about these pretty important responsibilities when we are in, as David described, “a miry pit”? The classic answers include counsel like pretending nothing is wrong, suck it up. Or, if that doesn’t work, and it won’t, we can embrace the anger and take it out on everyone and everything around us. Or if that doesn’t work, and it won’t, we have all sorts of prescriptions to numb the pain. After a few years of numbing, we convince ourselves that this anesthetized life is what Jesus was referring to as abundant.
What we really need is light in our darkness, not INSTEAD OF darkness, but IN our darkness. What we require is hope in our despair, strength in our weakness, peace in our anxiety, and to know that we are not alone. To me, as one who is walking one of these paths, this is the very message of Easter. There is sin and death, there are crosses and tombs, but they are not sovereign! And we are not alone!
There is a way to walk in and (I hope) through the fog and murk, but it is nearly impossible to find alone. Jesus’ words to disciples of all generations was and continues to be “follow me.” But it is not just Jesus, me, and my alley. At SonScape we envision communities of faith leaders walking together in spite of our varying circumstances. Come and join us. Maybe together we can experience what has eluded us as individuals; maybe we can shine like stars in the night, or as Paul said, like lights in the world. Philippians 2:15