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A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
—John 1:5

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
—John 9:5

“Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.”
—Ephesians 5:8-9

The metaphors of light and darkness apply to many things. They evoke some of humanity’s most primal abilities and disabilities, motivations, hopes and fears. The metaphors of light and darkness say a great deal about what people are experiencing during this COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.

The darkness of this moment is obvious to everyone. People are worried about contracting the virus, anxious about their own health and that of others, intimidated and saddened by the requirements (legitimate as they certainly are!) of social distancing, and deeply concerned about an economic collapse and the grave consequences such a collapse would bring.

There is a lot of darkness right now. No one disputes it. Before saying anything about the light of today’s situation, perhaps a word about the contrast between light and darkness is in order. 

I often spend my vacation time staying at a family home on Lake Huron. Of the many things that are different in that part of “Up North,” Michigan, one of those things is the dramatic change that happens as night falls, and then as the sun rises in the morning. When night falls, the sky becomes so dark that the stars are brilliant and many more of them are visible than I ever see at home. And then in the morning, very early in the morning during the summer (!), the sun rises over Lake Huron, and then seemingly moves to the foot of my bed. It is so bright and warm that sleep becomes impossible without closing the blinds, which I never do. I would never want to miss the sunrise, as painful as it can be some mornings.

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