Last week my husband received a call from a long time friend. It was someone he grew up with, graduated from high school with, went off to serve in the military with and someone who was a groomsman in our wedding.
He hadn’t spoken to him in over a year. While they talked, I left for a 3 mile walk.
When I returned, they were still talking.
His friend was weary. Very weary. He could only see the shadows in life.
Somewhere in the conversation the topic turned to Heaven and to the release and relief that Heaven will bring us from this world that seems to have gone mad.
But one thing his friend said to my husband really got to him. His friend’s words went something like this: “I just hope that I can be good enough to get into Heaven.”
Bob assured him that it isn’t his goodness that will gain his entry into internal life with God, but what God did for him. Bob pointed him in the direction of Christ and told him he’d email him some verses from the Bible.
In that email Bob shared some verses from the book of Romans that is rich with the message of salvation.
His friend saw light break through his shadows and thanked my husband for his help and told him it made sense to him now. They will talk again soon.
All my conversations with people lately have had that same common reality. Weariness.
The state of the world weighs heavy on them. Then add their own personal hardships and life can seem unbearable.
One morning recently I woke up at dawn and looked out my kitchen window. I could see tall beech trees casting shadows but what caught my attention, more than the shadows, was the sun rising behind them. In between the dark tree trunks, I saw light poking through. There will always be light if we look through the shadows of life.
I think of the lines from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem”
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
I threw open my window and allowed the breeze to catch my curtain, breathing in with the breeze to begin again and exhaling all that gets in the way of my peace.
I wrote the following poem as I thought about all the weary travelers:
Oh weary traveler it is so hard
Not to see what’s wrong
In a world sick with imperfection
It’s easy to lose your song
You see the shadows
But you can’t see the light
Searching for goodness
It seems so far from sight
Peace is in this moment
Not in some other place
Breathe in and exhale out
Find what’s good in this space
A calm heart becomes reality
As the past and future you release
And the gifts you see before you
With each inhale will increase
Light and shadows always mingle
The world is full of both
You can’t have only light
If you want to see real growth
Look for the cracks in the shadows
That’s how God’s light gets in
Divine gifts you’ll receive daily
And peace will flourish from within