One thing I love about winter is that I get to offer this blessing every Sunday: May the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you and scatter the darkness from before your path.
This blessing has been handed down to me to offer from generations past. But when I offer it, it truly comes from my heart. Darkness is all around. I can see in the faces of the people I serve that it is a real presence in their lives. This winter has been a new kind of dark, as we brace ourselves each morning for headlines that make us feel like we’ve lost all our bearings. We pray, we protest, we take our vitamins, but it’s still pretty dark out there.
In such a season, gestures of care matter so much. Smiles in the aisles at Russo’s, an unexpected email from a friend offering a word of care, a small loaf of home-made cranberry bread, carefully packaged and left on my desk.
Just before Christmas I found myself at the Watertown Post Office with boxes of donations intended for hurricane victims in Haiti. It’s a long story, but the upshot is that I couldn’t mail them, and I needed to get them back in my car and take them back to the church. A man jumped out of the long line to help me. He didn’t have to do it. But he was moved to help the Rev. Frustrated Pastor in her moment of need. He scattered a little darkness for me, and it gave me enough spiritual adrenaline to make it through the day.
The darkness that needs scattering in our world is bigger than any one of us can handle. But I believe that God works through both the big and the small efforts of all of us, scattering enough darkness to keep us going so that we can be part of the larger efforts ahead. Thank you, guy who carried the boxes for me. Thank you, everyone who will chose today to bind and heal and help.