Child of Light

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“Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I’m crawling on your shore.”
-Closer to Fine, Indigo Girls

The full lyrics:

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These perfect May days, with curtains flapping from the breeze, the sun’s heat awakening my body in layers, a new smattering of freckles emerging across my nose, remind me of spring in college.

I began college bound for medical school, determined to change the world, convinced I could discover a cure for cancer. But while biology and chemistry weighed on me, writing had a lightness. My pencil, and later keystrokes, diagnosed and treated a host of emotional maladies. In poetry and short stories and my first stab at the Great American Novel, I excavated.

Indigo Girls offered therapy, their folk lyrics finding deep resonance in this time of searching. Long conversations, aided by unscripted time and bottles of cheap wine, gave me and my friends space to explore what we were supposed to do with our lives. What moved us. What we could move.

Each spring brings me back to those days of contemplation, of moving between my own long-held expectations – and the realization that perhaps I should pursue a different career. I chose light then, embracing writing as my way of contributing, as a way that God could move and act through me.

But choosing lightness isn’t a one-time decision. It’s something I need to consider, spring after spring, day upon day. Too often, I’m weighed down, crushed by commitments and schedules and expectations. When this happens, I’m not able to respond faithfully, to reflect the joy of a risen Christ, to walk as a child of the light. And this darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable, and it makes lightness a call that’s hard to hear.

1. What is the darkness in your life? What is weighing you down?
2. What is light in your life? What brings you joy and encourages you to share it?
3. What obstacles keep you from choosing light?

-Richelle Thompson

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