Last Friday evening I sat in my church and observed a Tenebrae service. As the last candle was extinguished on the altar the church was left in darkness. And then a single candle was brought back into the sanctuary to remind us that as dark as Good Friday was at the death of Jesus there was still a ray of hope for us. As I saw that single candle sitting on the altar in a big dark church I was amazed at how much that single ray of light touched my heart.
Earlier in the day last Friday I was visiting with a young woman in the cancer center who has to come almost weekly for blood transfusions. She is bleeding somewhere internally but her doctors have not been able to find the source of her bleeding. By the time they scope her intestines to find the source of her bleeding it has usually stopped and so all they can do is keep giving her more transfusions to replace the blood she is losing. This unfortunate woman has almost reached the end of her rope. She had begun to feel that the doctors thought she was making up her complaints and that only added to her feelings of hopelessness. But last Friday she was almost beaming as she told me that at last the doctors were able to scope her in time to find one of the sources of her bleeding and were able to clip those blood vessels and stop the bleeding in that site. Now she was hopeful they might find the other sites as well and she can come to a point where she won’t need so many transfusions.
That moment was such a ray of light for her. It wasn’t the solution to all of her problems. It wasn’t the end of her struggles to regain her health. But it was a step in the right direction and that gave her more hope than she had experienced for quite some time. Her ray of light was enough to keep her going.
For all of you who find yourselves in a dark place right now I pray you too will find your ray of light. As you struggle with loss and grief, or intractable pain, or no prospects of getting out of the hole you find yourself in, or no one you can talk to who will truly listen to what you need to say, may there be that ray of light that shines into your darkness. May it be a sudden understanding of what you need to do to get going again. May it be a relief from pain that makes you want to get up and move again. May it be a stranger who takes the time to look you in the eye and let you talk without interruption. And may that ray of light be just the dawning of a new and better day for you.