“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,” says Professor Dumbledore to a frightened group of students in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
These simple words of wisdom will guide Harry and his closest friends through the coming years as times grow even more troubling. Throughout scripture, this same reminder comes to us: from the first moment of creation when God says, “Let there be light,” to Isaiah’s prophecy that a great light will shine upon those who have walked in deep darkness.
Simple as it sounds, there is a profound truth in trusting the power of a single light. Put a night light beside the bed of a frightened child, then watch fear recede as the child’s courage grows. Light a candle when the power goes out, then behold, not only its glow, but the warmth it seems to bring to a stormy night. Turn on a flashlight as you leave your tent to find the bathroom in the dark, and discover your adventurous courage beaming along the trail.
In February 1954, a navy pilot set out on a night-training mission from a carrier off the coast of Japan. While he was taking off in stormy weather, his directional finder malfunctioned, and he mistakenly headed in the wrong direction. To make matters worse, his instrument panel suddenly short-circuited, burning out all the lights in the cockpit. The pilot "looked around … and could see absolutely nothing; the blackness outside the plane had suddenly come inside." Nearing despair, he looked down and thought he saw a faint blue-green glow trailing along in the ocean's ebony depths. His training had prepared him for this moment, and he knew in an instant what he was seeing: a cloud of phosphorescent algae glowing in the sea that had been stirred up by the engines of his ship. It was the "least reliable and most desperate method" of piloting a plane back onto a ship safely, but the pilot—future Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell—knew that was precisely what he needed to do. And so he did.
Many years ago, Joyce and I went on a tour to the Onyx Caverns near Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri. Missouri is known nationally as the “Show Me State” but to locals it is also known as the “Cave State” with 6,300 recorded caves and many yet unexplored. We walked deep into the cave where ancient bears wintered and Woodland Native American inhabitants made their homes and very rare prehistoric algae still resided. As part of the tour, the guide turned off the lights and we were in total darkness. We could not see a thing… We were very relieved that when the guide flicked the switch and the lights came back on. As I write this…prayers are
answered…A few days ago (CBS/AP July 10, 2018, 8:07 AM) a live News Update that ALL members of the Thai Soccer Team had been rescued! How dark and frightening it must have been for that soccer team in the Cave until rescuers came in to turn on the light.
We live in a world that sometimes gets lost in the darkness, trapped in fear and despair. We have to turn on the light, turn to the Light, and to be the light for one another—the light we were created to be. When we reassure a friend struggling with doubt that doubts are a part of life and faith, we shine a light of hope. When we offer a helping hand to someone in need, we shine a light. When we show compassion to someone who has been hurt, and when we offer acceptance to another who has been excluded, we shine a light. With longer hours of sunlight during these summer days, let these days be a reminder and a challenge. By shining our light each day, we can strengthen our world and give it the courage it needs to love and to accept love. Any time darkness threatens, remember to turn on the light.
~ Adapted from Mary Scifres Ministries