in Tall Tales

Further Up and Further In

We have loved the stars too much to fear the night.
– J.B. Russell
We only fear the darkness when we flee from it. Having once ventured into it, or been engulfed by it, enough to have experienced deep hurts we dare not return to it again. Yet we will discover, if we dare, that hurt does not have the last word. Kurtz was wrong. “The horror” is not the heart of darkness. There is something deeper to be discovered. Past the chaos is calmness. Past the wounding is healing. Past the brokenness is redemption. Past death, new life.
On that journey I’ve learned to treasure the twilight and the dark places. The alleyways and footpaths, doorways, and shadows under bridges. These places are no longer haunted by evil, they are haunted by God. Not a God of unrequited power but a God of tenderness and passion. A God who also journeyed through chaos, wounding, brokenness and death.
Sometime in the early morning the rain stopped. Watching the clouds clear the man under the highway stumbles from his sleeping bag and, bleary-eyed, asks me for a cigarette. I smile and give him one. We smoke together silently – shoulder to shoulder – looking out on the docks and fishing vessels at rest.

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