Having an open door policy in this home means sometimes people walk through my door at 10 p.m. More often than not, they're coming with heavy burdens too.
Recently a friend sat on my leather chair, his words heavy with questions, doubts and griefs. I didn't quite know what to say to his pain. It was raw. Unfiltered. Even his questions were choppy, asked with half of a broken heart and a weary spirit.
So I just listened. I pressed some coffee, pulled out the bag of corn chips and for four hours, listened to him talk in circles.
The same questions leading to the same answers which spawned the same questions.
The unpacking of a human heart, human head, human mistakes. Just messy life.
Darkness on this journey is inevitable. We have day, the brilliance of light and seeing clearly. The seasons when all is at peace. When we're in step with joy and energized with grace.
And then there's times of hand-wringing and heavy shoulders slumping into worn-out chairs. We must walk through the night. To say there is no night is to ignore the suffering that exists here... from our sin, from other's sin, from being in a fallen world.
As four hours ticked away, it was clear to me the only things worth saying were things that brought light. Words that I didn't write, or create in my brain. No song lyrics, no euphemisms, no "in my experience." All that he needed was some light.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. — Psalm 119:105
So that's what we had. With corn chips, with coffee, with quiet night hours, we let the Word be a lamp. Swinging through the dark, it cast some light. A few brief glimpses of where his feet are. What the path looks like. Where he came from. And a bit of where he's headed.
The door closed behind him, and I prayed that maybe the light would swing into his path more. Walking alone is hard. Walking in the dark is hard. Walking without a lantern, in the dark, alone, is deadly.
So get the lantern. Let it swing.