Nancy Ortberg on Seeing in the Dark
Most of us want light, plenty of it, to accomplish the task at hand. We all know the stereotypical photograph of miners working below ground. It’s a picture of them wearing headlamps. They need light to do their jobs.
Nancy Ortberg takes us into the dark spiritually speaking on this week’s Faith Conversations podcast. She says the references in scripture of light in dark places are plentiful. And that’s a good thing because it seems like every other day I’m in need of a headlamp! I’m glad someone is talking about how to manage when you can barely see one foot in front of the other.
What has kept you in the dark? For some, it’s job loss, like I recently experienced. For others it’s that unexpected diagnosis and you don’t even know which way is up, let alone where the light switch can be found. Or maybe it’s the end of your marriage, through death or divorce.
Nancy says it well in her book Seeing in the Dark, that one of the hardest things is “the understanding that what is happening in the shadows is what is needed to get us to where we long to be.” Sometimes it’s hard to believe that something productive is happening in the shadows. Doesn’t the real work happen when we can see clearly and move ahead swiftly? In the universe of God, not so much!
As a native Californian, Nancy Ortberg uses the earthquake metaphor well, something this Midwestern transplant knows nothing about. But when she talks in the book about our souls having fault lines just like the earth, my understanding came into sharp focus. “For the most part you can’t see them from the outside, they are deep and hidden. But forces we may not even be aware of are exerting stress and pressure until these lines slip against each other and cause everything to move. And we never even see it coming.”
If you are in a dark place, or are journeying with some one who is, this week’s Faith Conversations is for you. Thanks for listening!