I stood in the doorway of our little red barn, that dark, windowless shanty on the edge of the cornfield. I stared into the pitch, into a hollow space that has no light of its own. Two calves, bedded down in the straw, shifted in the darkness.
I pressed my back against roughhewn, cracked boards. Felt peeled paint on my palms. Moved my eyes around that one crooked, cracked, broken room.
This is the grinding toll of time on all things in this world.
Life happens. Hard-knocks hit, even in barnyards.
And so I just stood there, with one foot in the dark and one in the light, with my shadow falling on a shadow. And I am a barn. A middle-aged barn on the edge of a field.
Got no light of my own. Cracks at the seams, you know? And fissures split a woman in places where she never would have guessed — in places where she thought she was unbreakable.
But life happened.
Things got sick. Or moved away. Or died. Went empty for some long stretches. Years passed, and cracks grew deeper. Some of the broken parts got patched. But others? Well, it didn’t always seem worth covering up what you couldn’t really hide anyway.
But it wasn’t all bad, in that barn. No, it was mostly good. But even the best parts broke her a bit. Maybe that’s what they call “character.”
I looked around that barn, to see splinters, unpatched holes in the walls, and a few gaping cracks that were left that way on purpose. Because you can’t fix everything.
And then, that bright orb popped up over the field, and over the tassling corn, warming the side of one peeling barn, and chasing away darkness on the inside, sliding down boards and pooling all around the inside. And all that light, it came in, and in, and set one dark shanty ablaze with ray upon ray.
The glory shone all around, straight through the cracked places. And I knew it was better this way.
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
~ Psalm 18:28
The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
~ Isaiah 60:19
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
~ John 1:5
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
~ Romans 13:12