Dark God

August 12, 2014

Quinn G. Caldwell

"The Lord is King . . . . Clouds and darkness are round about the Lord, righteousness and justice are the foundations of God's throne." - Psalm 97:2

How did darkness get to be such a bad thing?  The way you hear most of us talk in church most of the time, you'd think darkness is the worst thing that could happen to a world.  As if our bodies didn't all come with built-in darkifiers (aka eyelids) to go to sleep.  As if we didn't all gestate for months in a sea of dimness.  As if an endless day wouldn't burn most of the vegetation right off this planet.  As if fireworks and lightning bugs would be just as good at noon.

I know: bad things go bump in the night.  I know: that one window at the end of the wall skeeves you out every time you trot to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I know: it's a pain when the power turns off in the middle of that super-important thing you're doing.  I know: big chunks of the Bible talk about God like a giant flashlight.

But God is darkness, too, the Psalmist says.  God is the whisper in the night that changes everything.  God is the shade that keeps the sun from burning you.  God is the cloud from which the rains of grace fall.  God is the one that wraps the planted seed and brings it to life.  God is the one that changes everything from inside a sealed tomb.  God is the dark matter that, though you cannot see it, you know must be there because that's the only way the equation will balance.

Prayer

(You know you better close your eyes when you pray this.) Holy God, may your darkness enfold me always.  Amen.

About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is the Pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse, New York, and the author of the forthcoming All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas.
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