For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you. Is 60:2
On Friday mornings, I used to eat breakfast with the pastor of a neighboring church. He had a fascinating hobby and used to share stories about it when we met. During the year, he and some friends would study a specific battle from the Civil War. They would chart troop movements and unique features from the site. Then in the summer, they would travel to the location and walk the path of the soldiers.
Over the years, they were able to train their eyes to see features in the landscape most passed by without a thought. Grass covered indentations were often forgotten foxholes or a remnant of an explosion. For the trained eye, the story of bloodshed was still fresh to see in the land. It struck me that the land remembers what the human mind forgets.
In our modern age, we attempt to remember the glory of the Civil War. These include acts of bravery on a battlefield, the sacrifices for a great cause and timeless speeches. It cleans up the horrors of war and lets us pretend something romantic happened back then. The truth is much uglier and simple. The land was covered with the darkness of hatred. It clouded the minds of people and drove them to slaughter one another.
In his Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln pleaded with future generations to not let these men die in vain. Yet, it seems as our nation grows in its division, we are renewing the amnesia which haunts every human culture. We forget the damage of hatred and the darkness it casts on life.
The land never forgets. Every nation on earth carries the scars of war. Children will forget the battle of Khe Sanh, but the war changed its ground forever. Few realize those beautiful ponds in rural France were created by a depot explosion in a World War I trench. Auschwitz, while haunting to visit, is a place for tourists. It fights to remind people of darkness.
The land remembers the darkness, but who will remember the light? Too often, we wait for some fantastic, surreal encounter to testify the light exists. More often than not, God speaks and acts through everyday situations and people. Reminding all people of the light which darkness cannot overcome. The trained eyes see it and commit to serving it. Today, arise and shine, your light is here. Do not give into darkness, but live into the glory of God.
Click to read: Isaiah 60: 1-6
- When has darkness clouded your landscape and mind?
- How often, when you are angry, do you remember the destructiveness of hatred?
- What, in daily life, speaks to the light of God?
- How does one live in the light of God?