The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned. – Isaiah 9:2
There was one part of my job as a pastor that particularly scared me. It was being with people in the darkest point in their lives, and feeling totally inadequate.
What do you say or do when a young mother of three has just been diagnosed with stage four cancer? When someone’s child has a hopeless addiction? When a widow stands by the coffin of her husband of over fifty years? When…?
On those occasions there was no way to prepare, nor was there anything to say: you could only just be there.
The reflections of Rabbi David Wolpe have helped me, and they help anyone who dares venture into another’s pain.
Rabbi Wolpe, after leaving the hospital room of a dying parishioner, came home and confessed to his wife that he wondered if he was doing any good when all he could do was pray.
She counseled him that no one was able to bring about good in such a situation. They simply have to let a higher power work through them.
It was a revelation to the rabbi.
“That was a pivotal moment for me. Suddenly it became clear…that we bring light into this world not as a source but as a prism — it comes through us. As electricity requires a conduit, so spirit moves through human beings to touch others in crucial moments. As soon as I stepped out of my own way, the prayer felt real. I could believe in blessing when I felt that it did not depend on me.” (Why Faith Matters. Harper One, 2008. Page 111)
Blessings on all who do their best to let the light shine through.