“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
Quite the contrary, the light has shone all the brighter during these first potentially dark days following the mass shooting. In an instant, our collective world, the world we all share, changed yet again. But just as first impressions are not the final reality, this act of evil and destruction will not have the last word. Not even close.
Rather this single act of darkness unleashed Thomas Wolfe’s “ten thousand points of light”. Or as C. S. Lewis said in The Magician’s Nephew, “One minute there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out.” And they are still leaping out, still being made manifest; gaining in strength and number, burning steadily and with increasing power, already outshining the moment of darkness which made their appearance necessary in the first place. And these thousand plus points of light will outlast the moment of darkness.
It is all these individual acts of heroism, compassion, kindness, caring, selflessness, that are coming to light and being made known to us as we suffer with and for those we do not even know, that we will remember. We feel their pain because we know what it is to lose someone we love. We are united in our humanity.
A community has come together to help and to serve those devastated by this tragedy in a beautiful way. Actually many ways, many individual acts of kindness, a thousand points of light and more continue. One tangible expression of caring and sympathy is the healing garden/park being created even as I write this. The park will include a tree in memory of each person who lost their life in this tragic shooting.
“He who plants a tree, plants hope.” (Lucy Larcom) That’s what the thousand points of light reveal as they ban together, burning away the darkness, hope is revealed. She has been there from the beginning, but was momentarily obscured in the darkness of the initial evil act. H. G. Wells stated, “But never was the black fabric of war so threadbare. At a thousand points, the light is shining through.”
And indeed it is. We saw it in Florida and we are seeing it again in Las Vegas. People are coming together, there is an outpouring of kindness and love and cooperation that wasn’t there just a moment before. One act of darkness has released ten thousand points of light and acts of compassion.
The light overwhelmes the darkness. The light prevails. The light lasts. It is the light that will long be remembered. It is the light that brings comfort and hope. It is our acts of kindness that ripple on and on, spreading goodwill and stopping in its’ tracks any ripple from the evil act. My regret is that it takes such an act of evil to release the light in each of us, to compel us to put aside our perceived differences and to come together for the greater good.
Love DOES overcome hate. Light DOES overcome darkness. There is now great hurt, but there will come healing. And always there is hope. We have witnessed yet again the release of the light and the hope for humanity that its’ releasing reveals.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
sincerely, Grace Day