It isn’t even slightly unusual for me to receive several “stop what you’re doing right now and go look at the moon!!!” texts in one night.
My people know me well. They’ve traveled enough roads with me to understand the joy their text will bring.
While I was in college, I’d often stop right in the middle of the sidewalk, somewhere in between the library and my dorm room, and tilt my face toward the sky for a good thirty seconds. If the moon is full and I’m driving, there’s a decent chance I’ll pull over to the side of the road to stare a while. And if I’m already home, pajama-clad and curled up with a good book or watching Netflix (again), then I’ll step out onto the porch to find the glowing circle in the sky.
I can’t quite put words around it, but I really love the moon.
In the middle of the darkness, light breaks through. Endless black stretches on as far as my eye can see in any direction, but there! look! a light is glowing.
Last month I wrapped myself up in a beach towel and went for a night walk. With sand in between my toes and salty air blowing through my hair, I watched the moonlight reflect upon the water. The ocean matched the sky in every place, dark and seemingly endless, except for one patch of water that was illuminated. There, I could see the waves quietly lapping against the shore. There, I was able to see where the sky and the water appear to meet.
Sometimes it’s hidden behind the clouds, but if you wait a minute or two it comes back out nearly every time. The light can’t stay hidden forever.
There’s a super moon tonight.
This record-breaking light is rising as I write these words. They say it’s the largest moon in 68 years, that a full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until 2034.
This afternoon I closed my computer, walked out of the coffee shop, and drove home. It was barely even dinner time, but the sun had long set. As I parked the car, the song that keeps bringing me to tears began to play through the car speakers. They started rolling down as I looked for the moon, finding it shining brightly and boldly right over my left shoulder.
I let the tears come until the song finished, but I kept blinking hard and fast because I had to see the light.
I wiped my eyes, came inside to write these words, and as soon as I finish I’ll grab a blanket to keep me warm and I’ll sit on the porch for a bit, chilly air stinging my cheeks as the moon keeps on rising.
It’s so simple, really.
I’m looking for the light.
Because there’s a whole lot of darkness all around. In our country, yes, but also right smack in the middle of our personal lives, in the middle of stories we’re living out but didn’t ask for and wouldn’t have chosen.
I’m looking for the light. I know He says it over and over, how He is the Light that pierces the darkness. But I’m so grateful for the reminder each evening when the sun slinks down and the moon has its turn. No matter how dark the darkest night, there is still the moon. There is still a light, no matter how thin the crescent or full the circle.
Last week I stumbled upon an image on Pinterest that said ‘Everyone wants to be the sun to lighten up someone’s life, but why not be the moon, to brighten in the darkest hour?’
Sometimes you’re the moon for me and I hope that the words written in this space are a light in the dark for you.
The Light of the world said that the Church is to be light to the world, like a city on a hill that can’t be hidden. As we follow the Light, Light walks with us and shines through.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
“Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.” John 8:12
I’ve grown up hearing these verses my entire life, always picturing a tiny city sitting on top of a mountain or a candle atop a three legged stool, illuminating a house. When I went to Israel in May, we spent time walking around Masada, a mountain that stands alone and is level across the top. If we were to step back in time and watch night fall, we would see hundreds of flames aglow, lighting up the dark — a city on a hill that literally cannot be hidden.
One flame and another and another and yet another, all coming together to glow brightly against the night. We left Masada and went to the Dead Sea. You can see it from the hilltop, the body of water where nothing lives. Not much later, I felt sand squish in between my toes as I walked with a towel draped across my shoulders.
I couldn’t see the moon in that moment. The sun was shining brightly and the moon was needed elsewhere. But if we had stayed until nightfall, we would have seen it illuminate what the world declares to be Dead, just as the nearby city on a hilltop did hundreds of years ago.
Tonight, the super moon lights the sky, so impossibly far away and yet so seemingly close we could almost reach out and touch it.
There’s darkness, yes. Let’s not deny it.
But let’s look for the light.
You’ll find me out on the porch, wrapped up in a blanket yet again.
In the darkest night, there was still light. You know, light always comes because Light always wins. The night can be holy too, but we still light the candles and hold our breath, keeping watch through the night for dawn to break. It will. It does. – Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between
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Related blog post: Practicing Happiness in the Midst of Grief