Darkness Has Lifted…

Comfort thru Creation - God of All Comfort

“If I say [in my despair], ‘Surely this darkness shall engulf me and what remains of light will become as night,’ even gloom’s obscurity is no match for you; for its darkness is as light to you.”  Psalm 139:11-12, paraphrased

It has been said that the late Howard Thurman, black activist, theologian and Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University turned daily to Psalm 139 during the course of his lifetime.   What was it about these words that kept this theologian and activist going?   And what advice would he give us in the wake of a joyful, historic and momentous victory – yes – but knowing full well that we face a challenging and hazardous road ahead?I

Injustice and weariness were not unknown to Thurman.  He witnessed firsthand depravity’s cruelty and was no stranger to the viciousness inflicted on the marginalized and most vulnerable.  Yet it was because of these things, that he could unwaveringly make the case for God’s proximity even when feeling acutely alone.  Indeed, he was convinced that grief, heartache and being cast into utter darkness – especially for those in the trenches and on the frontlines of seeking justice –  will not or cannot diminish this intimate connection with the transcendent One.   

Such was this daily practice that sustained him through the years.   Thurman’s legacy radically affirms God’s proximity whenever any of us finds ourselves in the throes of darkness.  A darkness that is lifted whenever we turn to the psalmist’s profound and undefeated words, day after day, month and after month and year after year. 

[1] image from http://stephintaize.blogspot.com






Author: Jessica McArdle

These are dark and corrosive times. As a writer and ordained minister with the United Church of Christ, I use prayer, poetry, reflection, and scripture to re-align our embattled spirits with the uniqueness and urgency of our God-given identity and call.

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