Do you remember being little and feeling afraid of the dark? Do you remember thinking there was a monster under the bed or in the closet?
Sometimes I have that feeling and think those thoughts except I’m not little anymore, it’s broad daylight and there is no monster under the bed or in the closet.
The physical darkness doesn’t scare me anymore, in fact without it I can’t sleep. It’s currently 3:07am and I can’t sleep, I gave up staring at the split in my curtains letting in the London street lights and decided to finish writing this blog.
As I grew up, it was no longer the imaginary bogeyman that I’m paranoid is coming to get me from out under the bed. It’s the real-life monsters like institutional racism, climate change, failing economies, corrupt governments, rising divorce rates, terrorism, overwhelming crime figures, are you scared yet or should I make it personal? Like the beast that is cancer with 1,000 new cases every day in the UK, not to mention the global pandemic, fear of failure, fear of never being truly loved for all that you are, fear of losing a loved one, fear of missing out, fear of hurting someone, fear of being hurt and for the sake of all of our mental health I’ll stop there – you get the picture.
Physical darkness is the least of our problems. But remember when the dark was what scared us the most. Maybe it was the way it felt never-ending and all-consuming. Maybe it was the way it made us insecure, made us question truth and doubt reality. Maybe it was the way our imaginations ran wild with worst-case scenarios and filling in the gaps where our eyes could not see.
But then, like most of us when we were younger, not long after the main light was switched off, my nightlight would be switched on and all the fears went away. The light was never bright enough to fill the whole room but the light was close and it was there and that’s all that mattered.
In a similar sort of way adulting has been the same and some days it’s so dark, there seems to be no other narrative but a bleak one. On days and nights like these, I’ve learnt I still have a ‘nightlight’ and He has a name, He is called Jesus and His light may not have yet filled our whole world but He is close, He is here and that’s all that matters.