Reach out your hand into the darkness

How do we describe the indescribable, visualize the invisible, know the unknowable? We can speak of God only through the inexactitudes of simile or metaphor. We use ‘light’ to express the Glory that is God, to sing “Christ, be our light”, and to describe the goodness that is found in our souls. An example can be found in The Book of Revelation “The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the lamb” [Rev 21:23]. The absence of good – that is, evil – can be and often is expressed by the absence of light, or darkness.

What we do not wish to see we shroud in darkness, we shutter the light and close our eyes to avert its invasion upon our senses. We delude ourselves into believing that what we do not see cannot exist, cannot be. Somehow we miss the paradox that this creates. Where darkness prevails, light is absent. If light is good and darkness evil then covering the light only serves that which is evil. We are called by Christ to throw light into darkness, to bring light to every corner, to be a lamp of the Lamb. Norman B. Rice, former Mayor of Seattle once said “Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.”

How can we become beacons of light, dispelling the darkness? Jesus tells us that “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” [Jn 14:23]. His words were for us to love one another; to reach out to those in darkness, to bring the light of Christ to all those in need.

Bringing the light from the lamp of the Lamb to the world doesn’t have to be difficult or onerous. It can take but a moment of one’s day.  Often we feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem that confronts us and fail to see that small, seemingly insignificant actions can move mountains. When faced with an insurmountable situation remember the story of David and Goliath [1 Sam 17].

To bring the light of Christ to others is to touch the hearts of those in darkness, of those who are in need, to love one another. As Leo Buscaglia once said “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

All it takes is to recognize where light is absent and to take the lamp of the Lamb to those who are found within. Become a lamp, reach out your hand into the darkness, and change someone’s life. Who knows…”The life you save may be your own” [Flannery O’Connor].

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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