Thursday, December 18, 2008
Faith in the unseen light
By Leeat Granek (Guest Voice)
We are living in dark times in a dark world. My heart clenches when I hear the thud of the newspaper against the door. What will be the headlines today? More financial hemorrhaging. More murder. More terrorism. More environmental degradation. More poverty. More bloodshed. More job losses. More pain. So much suffering everywhere. There seems to be little, if any good news these days.
It has me, and everyone that I know, worried, anxious, and bewildered by the bottomless chaos. Will the light ever come again?
I am not a religious person, but it seems to me that this is a question of faith. Winter, with its dark, short days, and cold, bitter wind, is testing us. This year the test seems more dire than usual. There is no evidence that things will get better. The news is getting worse and worse, pushing us to the brink of faith. And yet, there is a part of me that believes the light is near. We can’t see it, we can’t feel it, but we can sense it.
This faith in the unseen light is everywhere.
Winter is a testament to this conclusion. Not only does the sun shine consistently each morning, but we are given ample reminders of the light in the holidays we celebrate during the darkest months of the year.
The miracle of Chanukah is that there was enough light to keep the menorah going for eight days when we didn’t believe it would last for even one. The Jewish holiday of Tu’Bshvat, celebrated in the dead of winter, is about honoring the trees that are stirring underneath the cold, hard ground. We celebrate what cannot be seen, but that we know is coming.
I am not clairvoyant. I don’t know when we - all of us collectively will be led out of the shadows. It may be years before things are OK again. What I do know for sure is that at some point the light will come. As the saying goes, the darkest hour comes right before the dawn. Have faith in the unseen light.