A Light in the Distance

Categories: Memories | Tags: Uncertain Future

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." Frederick Buechner


My friend, Nancy Branagh, sent these words to me one day and I have thought and thought about them.  If I know anything at all about Buechner, what I do know is that he is not shallow. So, when he says these words, he knows that people have lost their children, their homes and their spouses. He has experienced some of these things first hand. He knows these terrible things are the sorts of things that are worth of great fearfulness. So...what is he getting at? If we are not to be afraid of these things, how are we to be human?

Perhaps he is asking us to do some big picture thinking: There is a light--a light at the end of this tunnel-vision world wherein the things we hold dear seem to be all-consuming. "Here is the world," he starts, "and in that world, terrible things will happen, but there is far more than this world and because of that Light at the end, we are not to be afraid. We are to be open to a different ending. In that openness, we will find great courage and even triumph over the losses of this life.

Sometimes I think this is what Jesus meant when he uttered the completely insane words, "Take up your cross and follow me."  He meant, "Don't be afraid of dying.... In fact, walk in that direction. When you live as though this world is not everything--then you find freedom from fear---even the fear of death on a cross."

The Light at the end of the tunnel-vision world keeps us walking, keeps our arms open, keeps our heads ups. In this Christmas Season, there is, as always, a great darkness, but light beckons. Do not be too caught up--to afraid to walk toward it.

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December 15, 2011  |   Share:

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