advent epilogue 2017, His touch
my deep darkness, His glorious light
“For behold, darkness will cover the earth,
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you,
And His glory will appear upon you. -Isaiah 60:2
My life was covered with darkness from my birth. A unexpected twin, my mother emotionally overwhelmed at my and my brother’s birth, kept one for the first six months of our lives and gave the other to her sister to care for. That other was me. My mother and I never bonded. I left home at 17 to live.
All of our lives are broken, ruptured, in disrepair. Deaths; divorces; I’ll health; social inequality and global injustice with environmental distress touches all. Our darkness, my darkness and it deeply covers. It especially touches me at this Advent, Christmas time- a time of year of less light.
Yet, from Asian culture and His word, I am washed, covered, touched. The story of the Japanese art form of “Kintsugi”
“Kintsugi (金継ぎ, きんつぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (金繕い, きんつくろい, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. “(Wikipedia)
Isaiah speaks not just of the dark but of as ‘deep darkness.’ He gives us this image in an attempt, as blind John Milton in his description of hell, to make ‘darkness visible.’ (Paradise Lost)
Deep darkness in both these texts is absence- the absence of Light, hope, live and especially if God.
I see, I live with, I am felt by my deep darkness. It is with me touching all the time. It is also is throughout Isaiah book.
As he does at the end (Isaiah 60: 2); the middle (Isaiah 45:7), Isaiah weaves deep darkness in beginning of his work,
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)
Jesus is life. His coming is celebrated by gifts of value for those we value: we give gold as Magi to bless and heal; to touch and be touched; to love those who are hurting.
Today in the U.K. and other countries is Boxing Day. It is a day of rest and reflection. My daughter in Florida asked me why is it called ‘Boxing Day.’ While none are sure, the best story is that on this day in Medieval Times the Lord of the Manor placed gifts of food and coin for the servants and poor of the estate to bless and honour them.
These small boxes must have been like a Magi’s gold, a thread of glorious light for those without.
Today, plan to give a box of gold to another: a word; a gift card; a smile; a hello- give light, touch.