Finding God in the darkness

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

Liturgically, nothing happens on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  You might say we are being asked to wait and watch while Jesus lies in the darkness of death.

The recent issue of Time Magazine had an article about Barbara Brown Taylor who maintains that darkness is where we can find God more than in the light.  She's not talking about physical darkness of course but spiritual darkness.  "We are supposed to over it [darkness or sadness]" she said, "fix it, purchase something, exercise, do whatever it takes to become less sad.

"Turning in to darkness, instead of away from it, is the cure for a lot of what ails me.  Because I have a deep need to be in control of things, to know where I am going, to be sure of my destination, to get there efficiently, to have all the provisions I need, to do it all without help—and you can't do any of that in the dark.

"I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion.  I need darkness as much as I need light.

"If we turn away from darkness on principle, doing everything we can to avoid it because there is simply no telling what it contains, isn't there a chance we are running away from God?

"If you are in the dark, it does not mean that you have failed and that you have taken some terrible misstep.  For many years I thought my questions and my doubt and my sense of God's absence were all signs of my lack of faith, but now I know this is the way the life of the spirit goes."

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