If you're here, it's likely because you've seen me out and about on social media, talking about shining light into the world's dark and scary places. I'm more than a little bit obsessed with how patriarchy, power-grasping, and toxic theology inflict pain on the lives of humans. I've seen it up-close-and-personal, and it's the thing that lights a fire under me.
That being said, I've been reflecting recently on what it was that first opened my eyes to the dark places. It wasn't the darkness itself. The darkness was really all I knew about the world, so it was invisible to me. You can't see the shadows when you're already in the dark.
No, what first opened my eyes to the darkness around me was the injection of light into my life. Namely, Jesus. Someone made the glorious mistake of telling me that Jesus loved me, and even though I didn't believe them, it was like opening a dirty window just enough that a small sliver of sunlight seeped through to my soul.
I remember testing that idea out in my life, first by experimenting with what it might mean for the world if Jesus' love was true, and then wondering what it might mean for me. Finally, I confronted my family's version of Christianity with the idea of Jesus' love, and was met with a resounding "no."
The love of Jesus to a cult is like daylight to a vampire. Fatal.
And in that moment I had to decide. The mere notion of Jesus' love had begun to make me feel hopeful for the first time in my life. Was it possible for that to be wrong? Could something that seemed so good ... really be bad? I'd never even heard of a God who would go so far out of his way just to give me some hope, and the old God paled in comparison.
So I turned towards the light, and I ran, and I kept running. I'm still running, because I can never get close enough. There is no such thing as too much light.
As I've reflected on what it was like to turn away from darkness because the allure of light was so overwhelming, I've been reminded of something important that is easily forgotten. The point of calling out darkness is not to be able to point and stare and jeer at it. The point of calling out darkness is so that we can know where to focus the light.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:5)