It’s Not the Dark… It’s Who’s in the Dark

International-day-for-the-abolition-of-slavery

This year (2012), the first Sunday of Advent coincided with the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery — December 02. For me, this was no curious quirk. If any world needs breaths of Hope exhaled into it, it's the world of trafficking.

I won't spend time here theologically deconstructing the differences between biblical slavery and modern-day slavery. Suffice it to say the commonalities speak for themselves: purchase of people, abuse of women and children, dehumanization, slave auctions/trades, purposelessness, hopelessness, generational slavery, sexual violence, and the millions of pleas only the Spirit could/can interpret from victims and victimizers alike. "Please… stop!"

My entire person aches for Jesus to continue enacting His declaration in Luke 4:18,19: “The Lord’s Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, ‘This is the year the Lord has chosen.’” 

I've written before about how I love the dark – snow and the dark — and how the stillness creates a spectacular sense of awe that I can't seem to find anywhere else. There's solemnity, joy, fresh newness, silence and contrast. Breathing in this space filled with Spirit is powerful, humbling, and soulful. Enough cliches in there for you?

Yet as I reflect on Advent — the crying out of the world into which Jesus came, I am more keenly aware of the same cries today. While my hope is that all acts and desires and powers of human slavery are demolished, replaced by the kingdom of Jesus Christ, my home country is closest to my heart. Domestic trafficking in Canada… youth in Canada… our kids in Canada. Many valiant efforts against slavery are started here to assist efforts overseas, but we need help hereNow.

Word became flesh

Just some thoughts on today…

Don't turn out the lights yet, Mama
Keep 'em on for just a while longer
Just a bit 
Please?
It makes shapes on the ceiling
Stars
Jewels
and worlds I haven't told you about yet

Don't turn out the lights yet, Mama
Keep 'em on for just a while longer
Just a bit
Please?
It warms my blankets,
especially the one you made for me
(that old ratty one from when I was a baby)
It warms my pillow
so that my teeth don't rattle when I lay down

Don't turn out the lights yet, Mama
Keep 'em on for just a while longer
Just a bit
Please?
It keeps away the Closet Monster,
the Monsters-Under-the-Bed,
the ones outside my window,
the ones in the trees,
the ones behind the dresser,
and the ones you don't know about
inside me…

Don't turn out the lights yet, Mama
Keep 'em on for just a while longer
Just a bit
Please?
Maybe it will fight away what I know will come
what you know will come
but never say out loud
Maybe it will fight away the demons and crazies
the ones who take my blankies
stuff pillows over my mouth
tell me to be "Quiet!"
and never leave a way out

Please, Mama, please,
just a few moments more
Just some more for now

The light dances on my ceiling,
warms my blankie,
pillow,
and fears.
I know who's coming
I know it can't stop them for real,

but just for a moment or two…

could we pretend it's true…

that the light will keep away those things in the dark,
the ones who eat me every night in front of you?

Don't turn out the lights yet, Mama
Keep 'em on for just a while longer
Just a bit
Please? 

Advent_08_light

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