The wood was too wet for a fire. The air was cool and it was already past dusk so at 7:30 I crawled into my tent for the night. I used my flashlight to read a few lines of scripture but soon the light began to dim. Hoping to save the battery for an emergency, I clicked it off and was startled by the darkness. There was no soft glow from the moon or an electronic device. I waved my arms and could see neither hands nor movement. I found myself in perfect blackness and there I remained, sleeping only occasionally, for the next twelve hours.
In that deep darkness a distant barking became a pack of wolves; a beaver’s tail became a series of gun shots. My mind played tricks. I argued with myself. I fought rising panic. The darkness intensified fear.
In that deep darkness I was the last man alive. There was no comforting presence of a friend, no gentle human sounds. Community, relationships, connection were all far away. The darkness isolated me.
In that deep darkness time crawled to a stop. Hours passed, but slowly. I waited for a dawn that refused to show up. I stared into a blackness for so long I had all but given up hope. The darkness led to despair.
Yet when the light came, shining first on my tent and then on me, the darkness was washed away in an instant. Fear, loneliness, despair were quickly banished by the sun and forgotten. I found myself in God’s perfect creation, beside a still lake reflecting the morning light. Filled with joy, I watched night turned into day.
1 John 1:5-7
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.