“Faith, like film, is developed in the darkness.” This was said by our associate pastor, Father Michael Angeloni, at daily Mass this past Monday, April 20. When I heard those words, I did what I so often want to do when I attend a live Mass–I stopped the video and backed it up to listen again. “Faith, like film, is developed in the darkness.” Father said that even those who walk closely with God experience times of darkness, times when nothing seems to make sense, times when we ask questions and seek answers.
Several times each day, I look at this situation we are in and wonder, what is happening? Why is this happening? How can we get past this? I question everything that is being done. Is it the right thing to stay home and not risk being exposed? Is it right to protest staying in? Is it right to close so many businesses? Is it right to keep businesses open? Is it right to visit with people whom we know have had no exposure? Is it best to shut ourselves off from physical contact with anyone and everyone? How do we know when it’s safe to go into the world again? What are the answers, and how do we know what the right answers are?
I am stumbling in the dark, grappling for the light switch. I can’t see where I’m going. I don’t know if danger lies ahead. The darkness seems to swallow me, distorting my vision, and I can’t tell if I’m alone.
But then, I remember…
I am never alone, and I never need to be in the dark.
Whether I’m allowed to leave my house or not, whether I’m in an empty room or taking a walk down a deserted road, I am not alone. God is with me. He is with all of us.
I often say to friends in need, “I’m just a phone call away.” And I mean it. Pick up the phone. Call me. Let me know what your needs are. If I can help, I will. If I can’t, I will find a way to get you what you need. I was reminded this morning in a blog post at BeautyBeyondBones that God is also just a call way. He is waiting for us to call on Him, to reach out to Him, to tell Him our needs.
When is the last time you did that? When did you last call on God?
Now, more than ever, the opportunity is there. Almost all parishes have found ways to put Mass online. You can watch a hundred Masses a day if you wish. I’ve learned that many parishes are holding “Drive Through Confession.” There are even churches doing perpetual adoration online. What does this all tell me?
GOD ISN’T WAITING FOR US TO PICK UP THE PHONE. HE’S CALLING US RIGHT NOW!
When, in our history, can you think of a time that God was more readily available to you in so many ways? Just log onto YouTube, and God is there is some form.
And you know what is even better?
HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN!
He is there, and He is waiting. He is reaching out His hand to you. God didn’t need this virus to make Him more available to you. He didn’t need suddenly to be thrust onto every computer screen and smart TV. He didn’t need round-the-clock coverage on websites around the world.
But we did.
We needed to be reminded that God said, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalms 50:15)
In this darkness that we all walk together, we needed to be reminded, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Maybe the darkness that you are experiencing didn’t start in February or March. Maybe you’ve been living in darkness for a long time. Maybe you’ve been searching for a light that you didn’t know was there, a string hanging from the ceiling that you didn’t know you could reach up and grasp. Maybe this is the moment your soul has been longing to reach for months, years, your entire life. Maybe this is the time to develop, as Father said, like a role of film, into the spectacular image you were meant to be.
Let us use this time of darkness to find our way to the light. Let us turn our stumbling and grappling into running and leaping for joy. Let us overcome our blindness and see the light that is shining down on us all.
This does not have to be a time of uncertainty in all areas of our lives. It can be a time of awakening, a time of renewal, a time of bursting forth from the tomb for the new life which awaits. St John of the Cross said “The endurance of darkness is preparation for great light.”
Do not let this time of darkness go to waste. Nourish your soul so that it transforms into the beautiful, miraculous, ecstatic masterpiece that develops in the darkness in anticipation of that moment when it is exposed to the light.
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019.
Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy is available as a complete set for your Kindle and is also available on audio!
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019).