When It’s Gray and Cold: Embrace the Light


Oily raindrops collided with my windshield as I sat in traffic under a dark sky. It made no sense to me at all. 5:30pm and pitch black. I had never admitted it, but I hated this time of year. Cold. Dark. And rainy. All I wanted to do was sit in the house and dream of better days. Summer days. But the endless amount of brake light brought me back to reality. Irritated, I cursed the season. What kind of wonderful season was this? It was everything I despised. Drowning in tradition. Full of far-fetched expectations. Gray. I wanted one thing and one thing only. Sunlight.

“Maybe you should get one of those light therapy lamps,” my boss suggested as I confessed my feelings about winter, dreaming about the long stretch of sunlight that comes along with summer days. It had never really crossed my mind, but it made sense. So I bought one. And then another, portable one to take with me on the go. And it worked … for a while. But the ache never really went away. I longed for the warmth of summer. Quiet walks in the park. The high pitched chirping sound of life in blooming, bright green trees. I missed how abundant life seemed to be in the summer time. And then it hit me as I stared at my day light therapy lamp at a 45 degree angle. Abundant life. That’s what I craved. The pseudo sunlight illuminated the room as my heart quickened.

He came to give life and life more abundantly. There was the light.

He made me to lie down in green pastures. There were the quiet walks in the park.

He cared for, provided for, and fed the birds. There was the morning song.

The pseudo sunlight illuminated the room as my heart quickened.

I stared at the light therapy lamp knowing I’d reclaimed all the light I needed. Sonlight. And it was wonderful. But the gray skies beyond the lamp continued to beckon me, mocking me with seasonal affective disorder. But grace reminded me He is the light and grit pushed me to try, try again.

I cut the lamp off and sat in the darkness this time, candlelight providing flickers of hope full of reminders of the fire that exists within. Ever burning. Ever passionate. Even in the face of dark nights, cloudy gray skies, and stormy weather. It was cold and dark still, but I carried the warmth of summer in my soul and for the first time all season, I decide to embrace a little tradition on my own and hummed the first song that came to mind.

O’ come O’ come Emmanuel/And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here/Until the Son of God appears

And I waited and will wait. Until He appears. In my perfect vision of a summer day. Warm. Abiding. Full of life.

Oh come thou day-spring come and cheer/Our spirits by thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night/And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Years of tradition made real.

You’ll also like Why We Never Have to Be Home Alone at Christmas AgainThe Anticipation and Longing of Advent Good News for Naughty Girls this Christmasand Mother Teresa’s Hope for the Faithless Days

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