Light Has Overcome the Darkness
If Mick Jagger had debuted “I can’t get no satisfaction” in 2020, it would surely have been adopted as the global theme song. All of us are struggling to put into words what we are experiencing, even as we attempt to enter 2021 with a new attitude.
Some 3,000 years ago, the prophet Habakkuk wrote, “Anarchy and violence break out, quarrels and fights all over the place. Law and order fall to pieces.” (Hab. 1:3-4, MSG) Decades ago, Billy Graham looked across an overflowing stadium and said, “The very atmosphere seems impregnated with a stifling hopelessness that has robbed millions of the zest for living.” Recently Washington Post readers wrote that 2020 was “unprecedented, exhausting, and unthinkable.” Truly, we are in battle fatigue.
And yet, throughout the millenniums, the centuries, the decades, the days, and even the moments, the Light has always overcome the darkness. If 2020 was the year of mourning and bitter anger, then let us walk into 2021 with generous love. Listen without judgment, empathize with the hurting, serve without being asked and ask daily, “How can I pray for you?”
A Teaching Moment
My husband, Jay, had little home life. Skipping school to hang at the ballpark was a regular thing. One particular day, the 12 year old hung out with six companions, black kids from nearby neighborhoods. When the police caught up the young group, Jay was taken back to school, but the other boys were just told to go home. He was angry that he had to go back when they weren’t and explained the favoritism in nasty tones and words to a black woman who helped his mom.
Decades later, he still remembers the tears in Helen’s eyes as she put her hand on his shoulder and said, ‘Jay, be thankful that someone cared about your future. I am praying that one day someone will care enough about those black kids to take them back to school.’ What he learned from the “good ‘ole boys” that Mom brought around was disarmed in that moment as he saw pain in the sweetest, most tender woman he knew. Her response started him on a new journey to becoming one of the most empathetic, compassionate men I know. All because teaching him was more important than displaying anger.
What if our daily goal would be to respond to every need, question, hurt, and conflict with restoration of the heart and soul in mind? Generous love doesn’t need to “win.” It wants the other party to be healed.
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5, ESV) Never. Never. Never. Darkness tries to overcome us, but the courage to keep expecting amazing continues to shout, “Let me out! I am still alive in you.”
Diane Strack is the founder of She Loves Out Loud, the prayer movement for all women. She has spent more than 30 years in various aspects of women’s ministry through teaching, writing, mentoring and listening. She is the author of New Start for Single Moms, the curriculum and program used by One More Child, where she sits on the executive board. Wife to Jay, mom to two lovely daughters and six energetic grands, she loves life in Orlando, Florida, where she continues to “expect amazing” (Ephesians 3:20).