[Limestone Mine, Louisville, KY]
Went to a badly acted, poorly-written play Friday night yet because its themes—climate change and our broken political system — were so much what needs to be said and explored and talked about, the play’s essential goodness, its gem-like imperative to be aired shone through: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Until a couple of days ago, Christmas had seemed mostly dark this year. Devastating headlines, dear friends facing hard, hard times, day after day of no sun/lots of rain (what climate change looks like in the Northeast) had made me blue. Had made me Christmas spiritless. Had made me feel like I was going through the motions. Had made me wonder: why bother?
But then, Sunday morning at my Quaker meeting’s Christmas pageant, when we all sang “Silent Night” to a real, live baby, I welled up. (This year’s baby has shining, golden hair—lots of it—so really, really did “radiantly beam”!) That sweet and gentle moment when over a hundred people of all ages quietly sang together in tribute to this new, precious life among us? It gets me every year!
My tears opened me to the words of another carol we sang that morning: “The hopes and fears of all the years are meet in thee, tonight.” Yes! I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Thorton Wilder’s Our Town: “It’s like what one of those European fellas said: ‘Every child born into the world is nature’s attempt to make a perfect human being.’ “
That’s what we celebrate. “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” Hope. Our collective hope for peace, for justice, for “The Great Turning.” And our collective faith, despite the overwhelming and ubiquitous darkness, that Way will open and the Light will shine forth.