The other day we went to visit a family in our city. I had met this family only two times before and only very quickly. However we really love the mother because of her sweet, caring nature and her open heart. We thank God for women like her and pray that He would draw her to himself. However this story is not about her. This story involves one of her five, crazy children.
So on this particular visit to their home, the two younger boys asked me to play hide and seek with them. I agreed. The older boy was counting so little Nathan and I sprinted up the stairs to find a hiding place. As soon as we got settled (with the little 5-year-old directing me where to go) the lights went out. We were plunged into darkness.
Now you have to understand that this is common in our city. It is one of the thrills of living here. On any given day (especially now during the winter) the national electricity can go out. This can last from 30 seconds to 15 minutes or more. It is odd to be driving around the city at night and suddenly see a section of buildings or homes lose power. It can happen at any time and interrupt meals, chores, visits, work, or school. But Kurds here are prepared; they often continue tasks and they know to have flashlights or candles on hand. They may be annoyed sometimes, but this is what they are used to – this is the only reality they have known.
During the times when we lose power, I am reminded of the spiritual darkness here. The darkness is heavy and I am saddened when I think of how blind Kurds are. They don’t even know that it could be different. “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:19) It could seem impossible, hopeless.
And then I am reminded that all creation is feeling it’s way in darkness towards Him – the Light of the World. “…Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) In Him there is no darkness at all; He shines forth like the bright morning star. And likewise He calls us (and equips us) to be lights. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
As soon as the lights went out, Nathan jumped into my arms and clung to me. In his limited English vocabulary all he could do was say “go, go, go, yes, go”. It was obvious that he was terrified of the dark. So with Nathan’s urging I began to feel my way in the direction of the stairs. Eventually we made it back into the living room where everyone else was sitting around the kerosene heater with a battery-powered flashlight.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been near or around a terrified child. But I was honored that little Nathan trusted me enough to cling to me. It made me feel strong. It made me feel loved and trusted and needed. Then I thought that must be how our Father feels when we trust Him.
Pray that the Kurds would see the True Light in the midst of darkness. Pray that in the fear and darkness they would seek Him. And after seeking Him they would put their trust in Him and cling to Him like a child.