I went back through my blog and noticed how in my last few posts, I sounded rather depressed and frustrated that I have a TBI. In fact, I didn’t like reading them for this reason. However, I participated in an action on Saturday about the water issue here in Asheville and it energized me. I do love actions! I’ll say more about this later but first I want to comment on today’s devotional by Richard Rohr.
In it Rohr writes, “The darkness will never totally go away. I’ve worked long enough in ministry to know that darkness isn’t going to disappear, but that, as John’s Gospel says, ‘the light shines on inside of the darkness, and the darkness will not overcomeit’ (1:5). He goes on to say that “the real question is how to receive the light and spread the light.”
Looking back over my posts, I see my darkness. I often get mad when I can’t remember names or I get overstimulated. I can’t help thinking, “if only I didn’t have these challenges, I could do so much more!” Sometimes I just lay on the couch and mope. There’s even been days when I don’t bother getting out of bed because it seems I have no purpose in life. “It would have been better if I had just died in my car accident all the years ago. Then I could be with God and I wouldn’t have to deal with all these challenges,” I have thought.
Rohr says there are two ways to release our inner tension. The first is to stop calling darkness darkness and to pretend it is passable light. I’ve done this in the past and he is right. His second suggestion is one that I find helpful just now. “Stand angrily, obsessively against it, but then you become a mirror image of it. Everyone can usually see this but you!” I did this on Saturday when I demonstrated against the states takeover of Asheville’s water system.
On the right, is a picture of me demonstrating as many in our legislature were driving to a Christmas dinner at the Grove Park Inn. Folks lined the streets carrying signs against this take over. It’s interesting to me that we were in the dark as we demonstrated. Rohr writes, “Our Christian wisdom is to name the darkness as darkness, and the Light as light, and to learn how to live and work in the Light so that darkness does not overcome us.”
We were standing in the darkness, as we often must do, when we work for peace and justice. It isn’t fair that I have a brain injury just as it isn’t fair that so many folks must live with a disability. We must “fit in” to a world that isn’t made for us.
One example of this for me is, I really enjoy singing in the choir at GCPC. However, I can’t handle the stimulation as the choir processes in and out. As a result, I’ve found a little room behind the Sanctuary where I can sit quietly wearing my ear-plugs so I may “rest my brain.” This makes my darkness, as Rohr describes, “passable light.”
At the end of his devotional, he writes “We must wait and work with hope inside of the darkness – while never doubting the light that God always is – and that we are too (Matthew 5:14). That the narrow birth canal of God into the world –through the darkness and into an ever-greater Light.”