I have been doing a lot of driving this weekend. Most of my driving has been in pure daylight but last night I found myself driving in the dark. I have never been much of a fan of driving in the dark. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I can't completely see everything around me or that I have to constantly keep my eyes peeled for deer who want to jump out onto the road and could cause an accident. However last night I found myself reflecting even more on the darkness.
As I looked up in the midnight black sky, littered with beautiful twinkling stars, I found myself thinking about what it must be like to be pulled in by the darkness of depression or a mental illness. Now I have never experienced it for myself, but I have watched friends and family members who have been pulled in by the darkness. As I drove, I wondered what it was like for them to be pulled in by the darkness. Is it like their lives are constantly lived like they are continually driving in the dark; no light in sight? I think often times that yes, they are pulled in by the darkness and cannot find their way out...and that makes me so very sad. I want to offer them healing and so much that I don't have the power to give them. Yet I know that God loves them in the midst of their brokenness and can offer them those things they need.
God is the one who offers light to them...even if that light is just a little glimmer of hope. In many ways, it reminds me of a lit candle in a darkened room after a power outage. The candle gives just enough light; enough light for us to see what is around us; to find our way around the room. God is that eternal light; that brings hope to the broken hurting people in the world. Yet so often in the midst of mental illnesses and depression, I think that light isn't always enough. Those suffering with those illnesses need more light to overcome the darkness that they are pulled into. Yet God asks them to trust him; to know that God has the power to bring light, hope and healing into their lives.
I was touched by the following words from writer Anne Lamott. Her words remind me; remind all of us that God is with us even in the uncomfortableness and that God promise to never leave us or forsake us.
"Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness, the discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns."
So let us hold onto hope for and with each other until some of the light returns!