Remember when we were children? Remember how sometimes when we were sad we stopped what we were doing, plunked ourselves down in the dirt or on the grass and just cried? We didn’t have to explain it to anyone and most especially we didn’t explain it to ourselves. We just experienced the sadness when it came. And after it was over, we got up and went back to doing whatever we were doing. I did that today. I sat at the edge of a river where the dirt was cool and damp. My sit-bones felt like they met an old friend in that dirt.
I can’t tell you how many times I sat in sadness while I was growing up. But I can tell you that the act of acknowledging grief healed me then as it did now. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t try to figure it out. I just felt it. Maybe the sound of the water helped. Maybe making space for solitude or the prayers of loving friends gave me a soft place to land on the riverbank. Whatever it was, I felt both wounded and healed in the space of an hour.
While I sat, I thought about the idea of dismemberment, about the body of Christ becoming bits and pieces instead of one great whole. I thought about excision in medical terms because I’m a nurse; about a woman I met two weeks ago named Kate, whom I cannot call apostate. I thought about the garden of this earth and the beauty of every living thing. Light danced on the surface of the water and I was mesmerized.
Then I remembered a conversation I had with a friend over breakfast not long ago. We talked about how a very small amount of light can dispel a great amount of darkness. Today I’m thinking about that light. I suppose we each experience it in our own way, but I experience a certain kind of light–perhaps the light of Christ–as a fine thread stretched from heaven into my heart.
The thread connects me with something true and clear. Even in the midst of darkness, sadness, or disillusionment.
It is the light that illuminated Joseph Smith’s mind when he began to open his heart to the idea of lost truth.
It is the light that infuses a new convert when she reads the Book of Mormon for the first time. Or when an old convert picks up her neglected scriptures and reads them again.
It is simple, uncomplicated, perfect, and unquenchable. And I felt it by the river this morning. I felt it tugging at my heart, connecting me to God as I cried.
It is both the reason for and the answer to my pain. Maybe it could be the answer for you too.
A strand of golden thread
spans the length of every journey,
runs true to where its fibers,
born of light, were woven just for you.
There is a hope, a whispered knowing,
breathing life to fevered, fearful lungs
when you plunge, then swim your
midnight waters alone.
There is a love, a first and only One–
who goes before, bears you up,
moves your heart to pulse once more
and brings you home. There is a way.
:: How and where do you find light in the darkness?