Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, JR
Recently I have been considering the state of our world, what problems have existed for so much of history, and what we are doing to be the change we want to see in the world. This thought process can be overwhelming at times. It is easy to see all of the wrong and to point fingers at who it is that we think are the “wrong-doers.” Ultimately, however, we have to start pointing some fingers at ourselves.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?Matthew 7:3-4
When did we pass on an opportunity to serve others?
When did we perpetuate an argument instead of listening and truly trying understand another person’s viewpoint?
When did we ignore a hurting colleague or friend?
When did we spread a rumor or participate in gossip?
When did we see a homeless person in need and look the other way?
When did we fall short of who we are called to be as human being?
It can be so easy to look at others and ignore our own shortcomings. I do it too. I’ve sinned. I have fallen SO short of the glory of God. I have been the darkness and I have spent time wallowing there, hiding from God – hiding from everyone and everything.
In these dark moments, we have to remember that more darkness is never the solution. Light drives out the dark. Light exists in our world as kindness, goodness, and mercy. We are so quick to build walls against any kind of light when we are sitting in the darkness. “No thanks,” we say, “I’m safe and fine here in my darkness. I don’t need God or anyone. I can do this myself.”
Friends, we cannot do this ourselves! When we are at our darkest, when we feel our hearts filling with malice, we must remember only the true light and love of Jesus Christ can save us from ourselves. In our fallen human nature, we must reach out to Him who gave it all for us.
Today my prayer for all of us is that we can remember that light and love will drive out darkness and hate. We can be the light of the world. We were made in the likeness and image of God, and we must remember that, while we will never be perfect, we can follow the teachings of Jesus and love our neighbor as ourselves. When we sit in the darkness, lacking love and light, Lord, please remind us that you love us so completely and perfectly. We are worthy of love. We are worthy of connection. We can be the light.