Friday, April 18, 2014


Barbara Brown Taylor (PBS image)
Preacher-philosopher Barbara Brown Taylor says that our avoidance of the dark leaves us poorly equipped to deal with life:
we pay a high price to shut out the darkness. We glue our eyes to screens by day, while electric light hampers our ability to sleep at night. Then, when we lie awake with all our fears, we turn to solitaire or to sleep aids to cope. Our spiritual avoidance of the dark may be even more dangerous. Our culture’s ability to tolerate sadness is weak.
She deplores the perpetually cheerful Christianity that "focuses on staying in the light of God around the clock, both absorbing and reflecting the sunny side of faith." She is careful to say that such Christians are genuinely caring people. It's just that
the trouble starts when darkness falls on your life, which can happen in any number of unsurprising ways: you lose your job, your marriage falls apart, your child acts out in some attention-getting way, you pray hard for something that does not happen, you begin to doubt some of the things you have been taught about what the Bible says.
During Holy Week it is tempting to skip past the night of spiritual agony and betrayal in Gethsemane, the physical agony of the cross, and the darkness of the tomb to Sunday's celebration of the Resurrection. Barbara Brown Taylor provides a reminder to Christians that they should also give thanks for Good Friday.

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