In the darkness, leaning toward the light

In the wake of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, I’m looking for any flicker of light, any hope, in what seems to be a land of deep darkness. There’s only one place where I think I have any chance of finding it.

The Washington Post (“Rock bottom: Supreme Court fight reveals a country on the brink,” 6 October 2018) described our situation well: “When Christine Blasey Ford accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault last month, she . . . held up a mirror to a country in crisis, revealing its political players and embattled institutions not for what they claimed to be but for what they really are.” Conservative commentator William J. Bennett, according to the Post, described this as “the second most divided time in our history,” comparing the current moment to the breakdowns that preceded the Civil War. What no one seems to be offering, the Post observed, is “a credible path up out of the abyss.”

Certainly I’m not expecting a light to shine from members of the Senate, who’ve revealed themselves to be a body hopelessly enmeshed in the dark side of politics. Nor am I expecting it from any other part of the Washington political establishment. What I’m looking for is the light of a transcendent hope, waiting earnestly for it like the psalmist who wrote, “I wait for you, O God, my soul waits, and in your word I hope. My soul waits for you, O God, more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning” (Ps. 130:5-6).

Not yet, I confess, do I see the light of hope, but I feel confident about where it is to be found, about where I need to stand and wait – confident enough that I will stand there and “lean in toward the light,” as Carrie Newcomer sings. “The shadows of this world will say / There’s no hope – why try anyway? / But every kindness large or slight / Shifts the balance toward the light.” Listen to her sing it here (and click through the ad that may appear at the beginning of her video).

(Artwork by Carrie Newcomer)


  1. Bill Abdale · · Reply

    Thank you, I needed this.

    1. This is one I needed, too, a reminder to myself that there’s a lot more to life than what appears in the headlines and the evening news broadcasts.

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