a few years now I have developed a practise of walking in the dark. What I mean
by this is I like to go for walks at night in places that are as dark I can
find. Living in a large urban centre like Vancouver means that even when I go
for a walk at night there are still plenty of city lights. So in my quest for
darkness I find myself walking in places like beaches, parks, and the
Iona Jetty
(one of the best places in Greater Vancouver to see the stars). When I lived in
Calgary, one of my favourite places I would go for a night walk was a retreat
centre near Calgary called
King’s Fold. At night one could hike the river
valley with just the light of the stars to guide you.

walks heighten my senses and allow me to listen better, smell more, and detect
things I might normally miss. One must overcome a sense of fear for we are
often taught to be afraid of the dark and there may in fact be some real danger.
The valley of the Ghost River at King’s Fold is home to predators such as bears
and cougars and so my ears were constantly tuned for the snap of a twig when I
walked this valley. Yet, such fear and heightened awareness can be a metaphor
for life.

life I live in Canada is really quite safe and secure. Most of the time I
organize my life in ways that protect me and minimize my exposure to danger or
the risk of loss. I have my keys and locks to keep out the “bad guy,”
“bogeyman,” and “terrorist.” I have my vitamins and
disinfectants to protect me from disease and bed-bugs. I have my life
insurance, RSPs, and stock investments to placate my fear of the financial
future. I am fortunate to have so much. Many in the world have none of these
things. They survive and thrive without all of these protections. Could I do as
well if I were to lose all of my security blankets?

in the dark reminds me that I am small and fragile in a big world of danger. It
reminds me to put my trust in the right places. It causes me to pray and trust
and love and hunger for something more. It reminds me that life is about risk;
it is about taking chances when every fibre of my body cries for comfort and
security. Where would I be if I had never taken a chance? Where would I be if I
had taken more chances?

in the dark reminds me that there are more sources of light than streetlights,
sunshine, and flashlights. There is inner light which is a reflection of light
that is far greater. There is a light in which we can walk that will bring
light to any dark place.

No longer will
you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for
the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your
glory. – Isaiah 60:19 New Living
Translation (NLT)

This is the message
we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no
darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God
but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if
we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship
with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:5-7 New Living Translation

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