Alone in darkness.
Someone typed those words into their search engine, and it led them to my blog. It breaks my heart to know this. I wonder if they found what they were looking for. I wonder if they found something else, something good that they didn’t even know they were searching for. Somehow, I do not think they did.
For those of you unfamiliar with the writing of blogs (which group included myself only a few months ago), it is possible for the blog’s author to check his “stats.” One of these stats includes word searches that have led someone to click on that particular website.
These searches usually make sense. Someone searching for a particular poem or literary quotation is often led here. A surprising number of people want to know about southernisms like “bless her heart.” I wrote about that once. And every single day someone types in some variation on “Jesus” and “prostitutes,” which leads them here. That makes me very happy.
Sometimes the words searched are so bizarre I cannot fathom how the google gods led them to my site. I laugh, imagining how disappointed or confused that searcher must have been as my site filled their screen. Yesterday, I didn’t laugh. Instead, I decided that if anyone ever again typed alone in darkness they would find my response here.
Do you feel alone? Has the world gone dark? Then I have something for you.
It isn’t advice. I don’t believe in advice. But, I do have my story, and I know what it is to feel unseen. Unheard. Alone in darkness.
You are not alone. You are not. Yet, I know that it feels that way. I know the weight of it is crushing. There are few things so painful as feeling unseen and unknown.
There is Someone with you. He has always been with you, and he has not abandoned you. He goes by so many names, but the name I know best is Jesus. He made you. He knows you. And he promised that he would always be with you (Matthew 28:20).
Here’s something else I know: when we’re in the darkness we only sometimes feel his presence. Usually, we don’t. We feel alone. It is only later when some grace has drawn us slowly back into the light that we are able to turn around and see rightly. That is when I have known, without a doubt, that I was never on my own. That I was never forgotten. Never unseen.
Why does he sometimes leave us in the darkness? Why doesn’t he swoop in to rescue us? I don’t really have the answers to those questions. “Why” questions are mostly impenetrable. I do have some “whats”, however. I don’t know why, but I do not what has happened to me. Having walked through darkness into light I know that morning always returns. The night never lasts forever. I know that I am loved and that I do not walk alone through the valley of the shadow of death. I know that sometimes I needed to change in ways that only darkness could accomplish. I know that I have never searched for God or prayed to God like I have in the darkness. I am glad to know that I am capable of that. I am forever grateful to know that he always responds, he always hears, even if it isn’t on my timetable.
I will not tell you that darkness is good. I certainly will not say that it is good for you. I do admit that I have been amazed to see how bright the light shines after darkness.
That light is waiting for you. I know you cannot see it yet. Try to hold on. Wait. Pray. Hurl your loneliness and fear at the sky.
He’s listening. He sees.
“I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.” (Isaiah 38:5).