What would you do if you found yourself in a dark room and there was no light to be found? I remember facing such a situation during the big blackout that hit New York City when I was a boy. I remember being in my bedroom, with all the lights out, staring into the darkness. For a young child, it was a frightening experience.
When we face deep darkness, our bodies are designed to respond in immediate, physiological ways. For example, the pupils of our eyes dilate so that we can recognize any glimmer of light that is around us, especially glimmers that are often overlooked when the light is abundant. Our senses of hearing and touch become heightened so that we can better maneuver in the darkness. All our efforts are poised to seek the light, in the hope that the darkness can be pierced. And if all else fails, we are never disappointed in the search, since the light of the sun will rise again, even if our man-made light fails.
This basic human phenomenon points to a simple lesson about the love of God. Many times, we encounter spiritual darkness that easily obscures the light and warmth of God’s love in our life. We are tempted, as we do when facing physical darkness, to doubt whether the light of His love is gone. Yet, it endures and is ever present. What is required is that we rely on all our spiritual senses to recognize His love, sometimes coming in the most surprising of ways. If we do not “see” it, then perhaps we will “hear it” in the words of those around us who are trying to care for us in our needs? Perhaps we will “feel it” in the loving embrace of friends or the care of social workers who are serving us?
God’s love never abandons us. It is always there, even in the darkness. What we must learn is to recognize it using all our spiritual senses, especially when the darkness threatens us. And what we will discover is that the Light will rise again. It always does, for even the deepest darkness always leads to morning!
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos!