As I sit at the desk in my Study, sunlight is pouring in and creating shadows as it hits various objects in the room. The rare December warmth is melting the snow on the ground and as I passed the front window, I saw that Mouse was curled up in her cozy cardboard box on the porch that we first made for her last Winter. She seems to be enjoying the warmer temperatures.
I have been thinking a lot about darkness as the sun sets below the horizon while dinner simmers on the stove each night. I can't tell you how often lately I've been sleepy enough to go to bed by 9:00. It is indeed the shortest week of days where I live, if one judges only by the light provided each day.
It is at this time of year that I love candles, both real and battery operated. I love the lights of the Christmas tree and the light of the star on my neighbor's barn. I love to watch the sun rising above the horizon in the mornings and see how it brings the shadows into perspective, making them far less scary than they were just minutes earlier.
I grew up being afraid of the dark. I was convinced there were monsters under my bed and dark shadowy creatures lurking out of my window at night. Children who have vivid imaginations may grow up to be writers and story tellers but it can make for a complicated childhood.
I haven't entirely grown out of it, you know. I still do not like being outside in this forested area after dark. Which is amusing if you are aware of my enjoyment of watching programs like Finding Bigfoot. I enjoy watching other people trekking through the woods in the dark in search of unknown primates. I wouldn't be crazy enough to do it, of course.
I have often wondered what would have been going through the minds of people in the events leading up to WWII. I have read that WWI took most people by surprise and they had no idea of how long and how terrible it would be. WWII was quite different, war was still fresh in the minds of many people. They knew the signs. They discerned the times. They saw the wave of darkness coming toward the towns in which they lived.
I think watching the world today is a little glimpse into the world of the late 1930s. People tried to live their everyday lives as they went to work at an office or at a factory or on the sea catching fish for the markets. Mothers diapered babies and chatted with their neighbors and saw to it that everyone was fed and had clean clothes as women have done for hundreds of years before them.
I have been reading Mary Berry's amazing autobiography on the Kindle for the last couple of weeks. Her account of being a child during the war is fascinating. Her father was the mayor of Bath at the time and was well aware of the darkness in the world around them. However, the children were mostly able to live a regular life in that part of England longer than those in London.
As I read her account of WWII, I thought of others who lived through it as either children or very young people such as Jacques Pepin and Lidia Bastianich, both popular chefs for many years on PBS. If you have ever watched any of these three people who make a living in the field of cooking and/or baking, you will see one trait in common... they are all very frugal when it comes to the use of ingredients. They use every scrap of food and rarely throw anything away.
So what does any of this have to do with light shining in the darkness? Just stay with me a moment and let me explain. What I find amazing about these three people and many more with similar stories is that they lived in devastatingly dark times but came through it to excel in their areas of expertise... not in spite of their difficulties but one could argue because of them.
So my friend, when we watch the news and most of what we see being shared by the media is full of darkness... remember that you are in the right place and at the right time for where God wants you as we enter into yet another decade.
He isn't in Heaven scratching His head and wondering how you ended up living in such unsettled times when He created you to love peace and calm and everything just lovely thank you very much.
In these coming days, may we not only celebrate His birth... even if it was not in December it is worth celebrating!!!... but may we also celebrate that He came as a Light shining in the Darkness. His birth was announced by a light in the sky and by the light of the angels and eventually by the light in our hearts.
The angels told the shepherds to "fear not" and I think that is a very good word to take into this next year and this next decade. These are dark times. These are unstable times. But like others who followed Christ in dark times of the past... He has us here to be His light to that darkness.
I think we will have to keep our eyes on Him and in the Word and being there for each other to keep on a steady course of faith but as we read the biographies of those who have gone before us... we can live victoriously during days when the future is uncertain.
Mentioned in this Blog Post
Recipe for Life: The Autobiography by Mary Berry... here. (Third party.)
Recipe for Life: The Autobiography by Mary Berry on Kindle... here.
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