Are you living through your dark night too?
Good Friday always brings such poignancy, sadness and stillness to my thoughts. It's a day of reflection and somberness for me. The reading of Christ's death during Palm Sunday, as we all participate and play the role of the angry mob, always hits me so hard. But my most favorite part of that reading is Mark 15:33.
"At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon."
It wasn't a flicker of light. It was 3 hours of darkness during a time that would be filled with busy and beautiful sunlight, yet it was dark and still.
Perhaps it's because I pull out my childhood actress as I'm participating in the reading while shouting, "Crucify Him. Crucify Him." But when I read those words, "darkness came over the land", I feel my stomach grow nervous, and I think about all those people who felt so just and righteous to end this man's life. I imagine when the darkness falls over the sky that they all just look up and take a huge inhale and say,
"Uh, oh! What did we do?"
Realizing in that moment that this was no regular man if the entire sky goes dark upon his crucifixion.
How many times in your life have you felt just and righteous enough, just like that crowd, that your life entered into your own personal dark night? And you said to yourself, "Oh no, what did I do?"
Perhaps you felt so just and righteous that you... talked badly or gossiped about someone that it lead to the demise of a relationship, got upset because you felt you were entitled to a promotion or an award, or believed you better than someone else?
The beauty of this Bible story is that it has a great ending, as does yours.
See this dark night thing...the people at Jesus' crucifixion, in that 3 hour window of time, probably felt all sorts of things...fearful, angry, lost, impatient, unheard and unloved.
Sounds pretty familiar, right?
Their hours of darkness are no different than our dark nights that we bring onto ourselves. But when we can begin to see and own our role of our own dark night, that is when we invite the new version of ourselves to be born. The version that is wiser, kinder and more aware. When we reflect on our responsibility and the part we played in creating this situation in our life, we crucify the victim within us and we let our stronger, more powerful self resurrect.
And whether you believe the Bible is truth is irrelevant here, actually.
This story is about the dark night.
Your dark night.
And owning the path that brought it in.
Where might you have been overly just or overly righteous? Was there a certain moment that launched your dark night? I bet you'll find more than you ever imagined when you take some time to reflect. I know I find more than I can believe every time I explore what started my dark nights.
But the darkness doesn't last forever.
Once we discover and heal our own dark night and what got us there, we can help shine the way for others too.
Night falls, but the sun always rises.
And we are blessed with the opportunity to not only let our light shine once again after our dark night but to have gained the character, wisdom and grit that it took to find our way out.