One of the dearest, wise-persons of our present time is Brother David Stendl-Rast, a Benedictine monk. Brother David, now 92, has devoted his life working for peace, engaging in interfaith dialogue, and speaking and writing on the powerful impact of gratitude. His website, gratefulness.org, is a rich spiritual resource. Please check it out.
Today on his website, Brother David shared a brief letter on light and darkness. I thought it was so beautifully-written, I wanted to share it with you, on the eve of winter solstice.
The poet David Whyte is a close friend of Brother David. He too writes powerfully about darkness and light.
When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
(David Whyte, “The House of Belonging”)
And as a final gift for this week, I would like to share a video that Linda Witmer and I played at an Advent Day a few years ago featuring the song, “Come Darkness, Come Light” by Mary Chapin Carpenter. It seems a perfect accompaniment to Brother David’s letter.
May we journey together – through the dark – toward the Light of Christ. Alleluia!