Volume 35, No. 1
“The Blessed Light That Comes”
The Rev. Jan Richardson has spoken many words of peace into my chaotic soul over the years. I love her deeply artistic faith. She is an artist, poet, author, and ordained minister. And she uses those gifts to shine a light on grief, death, and women’s spirituality. These gifts have served her well to not only guide inquisitive seekers, but to help her on her own journey of fear and pain when her husband suddenly died in 2013. She knows well that grief covers us like a blanket and the heaviness keeps us from getting up and moving on our own. The way through the grief is to not force ourselves to get up and get moving towards the divine, but for the divine to search us out and find us in the midst of the pain.
Jan Richardson writes, “I cannot tell you how the light comes. What I know is that it is more ancient than imagining. That it travels across an astounding expanse to reach us. That it loves searching out what is hidden, what is lost, what is forgotten or in peril or in pain. That it has a fondness for the body, for finding its way toward flesh, for tracing the edges of form, for shining forth through the eye, the hand, the heart. I cannot tell you how the light comes, but that it does. That it will. That it works its way into the deepest dark that enfolds you, though it may seem long ages in coming or arrive in a shape you did not foresee. And so, may we this day turn ourselves toward it. May we lift our faces to let it find us. May we bend our bodies to follow the arc it makes. May we open and open more and open still to the blessed light that comes.”
And that is why Epiphany might be the most important day of the Christmas season after the truly difficult year we all had. Epiphany, for me, is the light traveling the great expanse to meet us. Epiphany is the convergence of heaven and earth to illuminate and radiate the love of God if we would but lift our faces and see it. The shining light of the divine is not simply a star in the sky. It is the spark in each one of us. It is the joy that overcomes sadness, the hope that overcomes fear, and the life that overcomes death. So, take notice not only of the coming of God’s sacrificial love in this new year, but of the divine hope burning within you. For Epiphany is here. May we be open to it. May we be open and more open still to the blessed light that comes.