“Let There Be Light.”
By Sister Barbara Jean Wajda
Did you ever wonder what was in God’s mind when this word became reality? To the Creator, the past, present and future were THE NOW. What was the darkness that this light was dispelling? Was it the darkness that we associate with eyesight? Or persecution? Or suffering? Or abandonment? …or all of these? Certainly, those exiled to Kalaupapa as victims of Hansen’s Disease entered a darker phase of their lives as they were forcibly separated from family and friends, cast ashore in this desolate place to die. Today, first responders experience the darkness brought on by smoke, tear gas or chaos. And what about the darkness of those who are slaves of their own addiction, or depression or fears—imagined or real?
Consider an unhatched chick breaking its way to the light, or a baby as it moves from darkness into light as it is born, or a seedling that pushes through the earth toward the light. Nature attests to life in many forms struggling out of the darkness and pushing toward the light. As humans graced with the saving mercy of Christ’s resurrection, we are not only drawn away from darkness into the light but share in the ability to enable others to move toward the light. The possibilities of beginning are infinite.
Connecting ourselves to the suffering Christ is our avenue to sharing in the light of the resurrection. Christ went beyond himself for the sake of others in his suffering. Even as we carry our own burdens, we can truly being attentive to others — we can give the gift of time to one who feels alone, to be there as another seeks to understand the unfolding pathway into the future. Here on Kalaupapa, I find accounts of children suffering the ravages of leprosy revealing that even little children can console their caregivers with their longing to be united with the Jesus they love.
During these days of Lent, we pray for the grace to recognize the Dayspring that shines in our darkness, the grace to be guided to that light which is Christ himself, and the grace to bring that light into the lives of those whose true longing is the light of resurrection.