"The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5
I am trying desperately to hold onto this.I keep up with a number of blogs that report on international news. Some are focused on Colombia, some are quick updates from around the globe, and one is a set of pictures from the Boston Globe called "The Big Picture". I don't always have time (or bandwidth) to scroll through everything they put up, but when I do I am rarely disappointed. From photos of the lunar eclipse to global carnaval celebrations, there is often a little of everything from a little bit of everywhere. This week is the Year in Pictures, and this is where my Advent hope has been flickering. To be honest, crap happens in Colombia all the time. So-and-so official was collaborating with paramilitaries, DAS (the now defunct intelligence agency, sort of like our FBI) is revealed to torture and trace and threaten judges, reporters, and civil leaders, floods paralyze the country and more die in landslides, farmers and their non-governmental agency partners are accused of faking their own displacement while 700 towns are said to have known illegal armed group activity.This is the stuff of every day. We don't write about it all the time because...well, sometimes one can't even keep up. But more than that it is because even for us these things are the backdrop to daily life. If you're not careful, they can become wallpaper - texture to a life that you can walk by and not even see anymore. It could be laziness; it could be survival tactic - hard to say. Add to that the remembered pain of the world in this year's pictures - tsunami in Japan, tornadoes in Alabama, gunman in Oslo, famine in Somalia, and the children...starving, in refugee camps, playing beside ridiculously polluted rivers. How does light shine into all that darkness? And might that light include that of a flash bulb - taking the pictures so that we might all see this pain? If so, why do we do nothing about it? It is old news to say that Jesus is the reason for the season, that presents are not the purpose, that much of what we do is trimming as much as are ornaments and tinsel. We know that. We just don't change much. But when lives are at stake, and we know it, why do we still stay the same? If, as my devotional says, this is indeed "the most outrageous season of hope and anticipation" then what indeed are we waiting for? Come, Lord Jesus, Come - and help us follow.