We aren’t fighting against human enemies but against rulers, authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of evil in the heavens. Therefore, pick up the full armor of God so that you can stand your ground on the evil day and after you have done everything possible to still stand.    —Ephesians 6:12-13

Click to see full size image.

I love this picture of the sanctuary taken during last year’s season of Advent—early morning light breaking in amid the darkness. Like that night sky, our lives can be filled with darkness—through the loss of a loved one, through the loss of a job, through the loss of health, through the loss of direction and purpose, through the loss of a relationship.

Abby and I were at a basketball tournament in Louisville, Kentucky this past July. We had arrived early to the venue, so we decided to go ahead to the court where she would be playing and watch the game that was already in progress. A woman came and sat beside me, which I found strange, since there were plenty of other open seats. We exchanged pleasantries, sharing where we were from (she was from New Hampshire), pointing out our daughters to each other.

At halftime she shared that her son had been killed in a car accident eighteen months ago when he was at college. My heart stopped and tears began to flow. I was amazed that someone I had met just five minutes beforehand would share with me the deep darkness that she carries within her.

As her daughter’s game ended, Amy and I hugged for a long time. I told her I would keep her in my prayers. A chance meeting between mothers on a basketball court? I’m not so sure.

May God’s light permeate every corner of our souls this Advent, dispelling any darkness, filling our souls with the hope, peace, joy and love of God incarnate—Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem.

I pray that Amy feels the power of God’s light this Advent too.

Judy Oguich