Tag Archives: light and darkness

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Don’t forget the torches — light trumps darkness: learning about politics and life from some imaginative protestors

Gambling is a scourge on our society. It seems to me that it’s one of a handful of social issues — alongside alcohol, domestic violence, our treatment of our indigenous peoples, and refugees — that occupies a similar blind spot for us Aussies that is similar to guns in the U.S psyche.

We Aussies sometimes like to look down our noses at the stranglehold the N.R.A has on gun control law in America, so this week it’s been revealing to see just how deeply enmeshed the gambling industry is in Australian life as a big-money horse race took over a national icon (paid for by lotteries), the Sydney Opera House. The manager of this cultural precinct didn’t want it given over to this modern idol of our culture, and a radio host with pretty strong links to the racing industry slammed her, leading the charge in such a way that our political leaders fronted the media to justify (and support) an industry that destroys lives (but lines the public coffers, and the coffers of our political parties), first the Premier of New South Wales, then the Prime Minister. Here’s what Prime Minister Scott Morrison had to say:

“This is one of the biggest events of the year. Why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has? These events generate massive economic opportunities for the state, for the city.”

It’s the economy. Stupid.

A federal government study on the deleterious impact of race betting on Australians found:

Among other things, survey data tell us that in 2015, nearly one million Australians regularly gambled on horse and dog racing. Most race bettors were men, and aged between 30 and 64. Their typical monthly expenditure on race betting amounted to $1,300 each over the year. Some 400,000 experienced one or more gambling-related problems.

Now. Like many Aussies — including the 290,000 who signed a petition against this advertising campaign that the New South Wales government refused to accept, I’m pretty disillusioned about Australian politics.

I feel helpless and on the sidelines while watching things like this unfold. Political action seems pointless.

I think there are plenty of dark times ahead for those of us who want a democracy built on making space at the table for one another, and pursuing civility and the ability to live well together. I despair about our treatment of refugees, and the unborn. I despair about much Christian advocacy in its misrepresentation of those we disagree with (so, for example, while I think it’s bad legislation, I don’t think the spirit of the new abortion laws in Queensland is to allow women to terminate pregnancies for whatever reason they want up until birth, and I don’t think the pro-life case is helped by painting the ‘other’ side this way).

I’m struck by how much responsibility and hope we give to politicians to solve our social issues, a phenomenon James Davison Hunter observed in his book To Change The World, and how much then we run to ideological camps where we can sling rocks at those opposed. He says:

“If modern politics is the sphere of leadership, influence, and activity surrounding the state, politicization is the turn toward law and politics — the instrumentality of the state — to find solutions to public problems.”

This is the way our public conversations are framed — when there’s a problem we want others to solve it; specifically, the state. And we do our part by making lots of outraged noise on social media, and signing petitions (and there’s a place for this, of course). But what if this limits our imagination when it comes to other solutions?

Hunter says:

“Politics has become so central in our time that institutions, groups, and issues are now defined relative to the state, its laws, and procedures. Institutions such as popular and higher education, philanthropy, science, the arts, and even the family understand their identity and function according to what the state does or does not permit… it is only logical then, that problems affecting the society are seen increasingly, if not primarily, through the prism of the state; that is, in terms of how law, policy, and politics can solve them.”

Hunter also suggests this politicization frames our ‘common life’ so much that it gives birth to the sort of ideological posturing that has killed our ability to disagree well, or seek compromise. It also means there is no ‘public’ space or ‘commons’ that is not politicised (like the Opera House). He says:

“Politics subsumes the public so much so that they become conflated. And so instead of the political realm being seen as one part of public life, all of public life tends to be reduced to the political… This turn has brought about a narrowing of the complexity and richness of public life, and with it, a diminishing of possibility for thinking of alternative ways to address common problems and issues.”

Perhaps the only thing worse than the collapse of the public space into the political, is the giving over of public space — the commons — to the market, especially when that’s a political decision made for apparent political gain (it’s the economy stupid). Another book I’ve been particularly challenged by this year, Matthew Crawford’s The World Beyond Your Head: How To Flourish in an Age of Distraction, makes the point that the sort of paying attention is much harder when our public spaces are now places where we are bombarded with messages from private enterprise. He says clear public space — the ‘commons’ is necessary for ethical life together — for listening to one another long enough to escape ideological posturing, or the darkness of the world around us.

“The idea of a commons is suitable in discussing attention because, first, the penetration of our consciousness by interested parties proceeds very often by the appropriation of attention in public spaces, and second, because we rightly owe to one another a certain level of attentiveness and ethical care.”

Crawford uses the example of the airport to make his point — and its a tale of two lounges, the private airline lounges and the public lounges around the gates. In the public space companies have paid to bombard you with advertising material — billboards, TV screens, businesses, while in the private space you’re offered the luxury of distraction free comfort. The wealthy have the luxury of not needing the ‘commons’ to avoid the privatised messaging they don’t want — they pay for something not-so-common (and it’s perhaps, the same with the Opera House, I wonder what the outcry would be like if these adverts were projected on the curtains of the Opera before or after a performance). Here’s Crawford setting the scene:

Or do we? Silence is now offered as a luxury good. In the business-class lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport, what you hear is the occasional tinkling of a spoon against china. There are no advertisements on the walls, and no TVs. This silence, more than any other feature of the space, is what makes it feel genuinely luxurious. When you step inside and the automatic airtight doors whoosh shut behind you, the difference is nearly tactile, like slipping out of haircloth into satin. Your brow unfurrows itself, your neck muscles relax; after twenty minutes you no longer feel exhausted. The hassle lifts. Outside the lounge is the usual airport cacophony. Because we have allowed our attention to be monetized, if you want yours back you’re going to have to pay for it. As the commons gets appropriated, one solution, for those who have the means, is to leave the commons for private clubs such as the business-class lounge. Consider that it is those in the business lounge who make the decisions that determine the character of the peon lounge, and we may start to see these things in a political light. To engage in playful, inventive thinking, and possibly create wealth for oneself during those idle hours spent at an airport, requires silence. But other people’s minds, over in the peon lounge (or at the bus stop) can be treated as a resource—a standing reserve of purchasing power to be steered according to innovative marketing ideas hatched by the “creatives” in the business lounge.”

Ouch.

Crawford also talks about the mechanics of addiction, and the way the gambling industry (especially pokie machine makers) exists as a parasite with the express goal of having customers ‘play to extinction’… distracting us to oblivion with bright lights and pretty colours (and some other pretty nefarious techniques).

This outsourcing of decision making to our law makers means the stakes are impossibly high. If we think reducing gambling, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, or pregnancy terminations, depends on our politicians we lack imagination, and we over-estimate the capacity of our leaders to escape their own political interests and deliver actual results. If we put all our eggs in that basket then to lose the political battle is to lose the war…

If we want to stand against darkness, the answer is bringing light. It’s to stop outsourcing problem-solving to government and to start acting as citizens, forming institutions and movements, to model a better way forward. This is perhaps particularly true for Christians given the way light and darkness work in our story.

And there’s no better picture of the power of light to trump darkness than the way protestors standing in the Opera House forecourt tonight disrupted the projection of the gambling ads onto the Opera House sails. With torches. With light. They didn’t quite have enough torch-power to overcome the industrial sized projectors throwing the ads up, but they tried, they were noticed, and if more of us imagined non-political solutions to social problems that involved harnessing people power we might see changes to how public life happens… it’s this evocative picture of light starting to overcome even the brightest darkness.

There’s much that we Christians could learn about how to participate in a public that seems increasingly dark. We might stop putting our effort into political solutions to the problems around us and start shining light in such a way that the darkness is obscured. We might trust that eventually, though it feels like we’re pushing up hill, enough light shone on something dark will buckle it and break it… no matter how deeply enmeshed a problem is… And maybe we’ll bring a renewed sense of imagination to the task of ‘politics’…

Instead of standing outside abortion clinics, protesting to change legislation as ‘political speech’ (or just getting in the face of the ‘other’) in what our legislators have created as exclusion zones, we might keep building communities that are inclusion zones for vulnerable parents-to-be. Instead of just looking for political solutions on domestic violence we could start refuges and services to make escaping that darkness more possible for women. Instead of playing the same partisan ideological game where we want to win the political fight at all costs, at all times, we might try to make room in public for the people we disagree with to be truly seen and heard. Instead of making political arguments seeking a win over the other, we might seek to win the other over to the light (you know, by making Christian politics about Jesus…).

Hunter and Crawford are describing some things that I’d love to see transform the way we approach politics in Australia. It would be amazing and transformative if we stopped peddling the narrative that politics will solve everything, or giving the keys to the ‘public’ to these leaders who then rely on private dollars to hold on to power. It’d be amazing if we all took up our torches to bring light into these unseen problems in our psyche — our cultural dependancy on gambling and alcohol, and the violence that seems so endemic behind closed doors (62 women have been killed as a result of domestic violence this year, seven women in the last six days… while zero people were killed by needles in strawberries).

The downside to all this optimism about people power, of course, is the images from history of angry mobs with torches hunting down those on the other side. Here’s where I reckon the optimism of plenty of political activism breaks down — the idea that we could, or would, do a better job than those in power if we took the power off them.

There are plenty of iconic torch-carrying-mob pictures we could consider from some of humanity’s darker moments, but perhaps none are more iconic than this one.

So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. — John 18:3-5

People power can be harnessed for some pretty dark stuff.

Jesus, the ‘light of the world’, approached in the night by a mob carrying torches trying to outshine his light… but even in this moment, the start of his darkest hours, Jesus is triumphing by refusing to play the political game the world expects. It’s like the words of Jesus that John recorded back near the start of his story were prescient.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” — John 3:19-21

This is the uniquely bright light we have to shine on the problems of this world — the light of the world, Jesus, has much to offer when it comes to addressing violence against women, alcohol addiction, gambling, and how we treat the unborn. Jesus, the Lord of heaven and earth, isn’t just an alternative to worldly powers, but offers a rationale for rejecting the ‘politicisation of everything’ and the idea that human governments should be responsible for solving all the world’s problems. He’s the king who doesn’t sell us out for his own interests so that the ‘commons’ is turned against us, but who gives himself as a ransom to bring us from ‘the kingdom of darkness into light’. He invites us into the kingdom, he invites us to turn on the torches, knowing that even in those moments where it doesn’t seem we’re cutting through the darkness, or over-powering the bright lights of our cultural idols, his light is not overcome. He gives us a type of political action that isn’t pointless — the call to point people to God’s kingdom in our participation in the public sphere.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. — Matthew 5:14-16

We beat darkness by bringing light

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:4-5

Reading the news (or the newsfeed) over the last few weeks has left me feeling pretty dark about the world. This statement could be made about any week — but I’ve had my heart smashed by the death of Eurydice Dixon in the dark hours of the night in Melbourne, the separation of refugee children from their parents in the United States, the ongoing humanitarian crisis on our watch in Manus and Nauru, and the ongoing tragedy in the gap between the life expectancy of indigenous and non-indigenous Australians… and there’s always more.

It’s dark.

And in all this, I’ve despaired as I’ve watched what passes for leadership in these times — political leadership, church leadership, thought leadership… it all seems so polarising. Our leaders trade on anxiety — they feed it and feed off it — like wolves who fatten up the sheep so they can enjoy lamb stew for dinner… They use our fears to bolster their power. Instead of dealing with the heart of increasingly complex realities (like the refugee crisis) our leaders create solutions that would be unravelled if our populace was compassionate. Leaders now are feeding on darkness, and so feeding the darkness, rather than bringing light into a dark world.

What deepens my despair is my growing conviction that none of the human solutions to these problems are adequate. There’s a fundamental failure to grapple with the real nature of darkness — we can’t simply defeat darkness by appealing to the ‘better angels’ of our nature. I’m glad there are a bunch of Christian leaders who want to stand against the darkness — on all fronts (or, it’d be nice if it was on all fronts not just on single issues).

But what is distinctively Christian about our stand? What particular insights might we bring to this darkness?

What do we know about light and life that we might bring to the table as our distinctive, and that might shape our particular response both in how we participate in the political and social structures of our world and in how we operate as a counter-political and counter-social structure living out our own solutions built by following King Jesus, as children of the light?

That’s where I’m struggling.

Even the Christian leaders who are calling darkness what it is seem to be limited to tackling these examples of darkness with purely human weaponry — we’re so bought into the secular age and its frame — which includes the supernatural (the idea that God is at work in his world) — that we think these bits of darkness involve the best natural response we can muster (the idea that God works in his world only through natural means).

When it comes to the experience of women in our world — a world systemically stacked against them because it is largely designed and defined by sinful (dark-hearted) human men — we’re left telling men to stop being sinful, or to revolt against a system set up to protect our self interest.

It’s like we’ve assumed the prophetic voice means that we’re speaking to Israel — people who have a particular calling in the world as a kingdom of priests — rather than speaking prophetically to people who have fundamentally and explicitly ignored that calling. But also, if we’re going to talk about the prophetic voice it’s worth looking at how the prophets spoke to Israel’s leaders when they had become just like the nations and what solution the prophets saw for that (hint — divine judgment and intervention).

When it comes to responding to the predatory behaviour of wolf-like men, we’re left asking them to behave like sheep instead.

It’s like we’ve assumed that we can appeal to directly to the image of God in someone without seeing how that image has been twisted and distorted by the conforming worship of other images (idols). It’s a naive theological anthropology that doesn’t see how being made in the image of God was a vocation built from a relationship with God — and how much the restoration of that image is the work of the Holy Spirit.

You can’t tell a wolf to act like a sheep — all you’re doing there is teaching wolves how to dress in sheep’s clothing. You can’t even train, or modify, the behaviour of a wolf in order to pretend it’s a sheep, no matter how good your approach to cultural change or education is, unless the wolf has a total change of heart.

At this point I want to make it clear I’m not playing the ‘not all men’ game here, to suggest that only the truly monstrous figure is wolf-like, but rather to suggest that all humans are inherently capable of monstrous, predatory, behaviour — and this plays out in a particular way in a society shaped by power and violence and a consumer mentality where the good life is not about self-denial but self-gratification.

Until we’re dealing honestly with the human condition — and thus less optimistically — we’re not going to come anywhere near human or natural solutions to the problems plaguing our world.

I quote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn pretty regularly, for good reason. Solzhenitsyn survived just about the worst darkness humanity can imagine in the Soviet gulags and lived to write about it. He had time to grapple with what it was that produced the sort of systemic evil he experienced, and the evil individuals — the predators — he came face to face with. He came face to face with darkness — and this is his diagnosis:

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” 

The darkness in the world mirrors the darkness in our hearts — and until we start talking about heart change as Christians, in our public response to darkness, we’re just the blind leading the blind. We might sound good and compassionate as we do it — as we point out systemic and individual darkness, and hold out the ideal of a pure ‘light’ heart that can be achieved by any or all of us if we just work hard enough — but who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? The thing about this dynamic, Biblically, is that the divide between good and evil isn’t 50-50 for every person all the time, the more we cultivate one or the other the bigger it is. In fact, in Romans 7, Paul suggests that without the Spirit, the darkness wins most of the time even as we still know what good is, and still want to do it… Let’s call the ‘good’ part in the heart the product of us being created in the image of God and the evil the product of our pursuit of things other than God (our idols, or our self-gratification). When we talk about acts of evil we’re talking about people whose hearts have been shaped in such a way that their deeds reflect their hearts, and the heart-destruction required to fix that evil becomes closer and closer to the eradication of the self. Who wants to do that?

There are plenty of examples of this sort of human solution offered to what is truly a spiritual crisis. But at the moment I’m fixated by how our leading public Christian voices (in the political realm) are both falling into the same trap — offering secular solutions to spiritual problems; and specifically, not offering the work, victory, and example of Jesus as the basis for a way to bring light into darkness. Often we’re offering the natural fruit of Christianity as the solution without the root, or the tree. We want wolves to behave like sheep without offering them the good shepherd — and we want to deal with the existence of wolves without following the example of Jesus the shepherd who used his strength to stand between Satan, the prince of darkness — the father of wolves, and the sheep. This is true of both the Australian Christian Lobby on the right and its oddly mirrored alternative on the left, Common Grace (though at least their name explicitly limits their field to a particular application of an understanding of God’s relationship to nature).

The Gospel of John calls Jesus the light of the world. John witnessed a different sort of darkness to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the crucifixion of God’s son — the light and life of the world — by people who should’ve welcomed him with open arms. A world of wolves desperate to cling to power and to stay in the darkness. Here’s John’s record of Jesus’ version of Solzhenitsyn’s diagnosis:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. — John 3:19-21

If Jesus is right about the human heart — and what is required to change it — then our social media activism, or those times that we restrict ourselves to merely human arguments based on merely human accounts of the problem won’t fix anything or anybody. His solution to our dark human hearts is new hearts — not just renovated hearts but being ‘born from above’.

There’s hints of the prophet Ezekiel in Jesus’ words in John. Ezekiel has a similar diagnosis of what drives wolf-like behaviour to Jesus (and Solzhenitsyn). It’s a problem of the heart — a problem that leads to a system set up to propagate predatory behaviour (sound familiar?). Princes, priests, and prophets colluding to destroy those they’re meant to protect, and to deny justice.

There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken. The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. — Ezekiel 22:25-29

And what’s the solution Ezekiel offered to this problem? To take up arms? To tell people to stop and change. To create a new human system without addressing the heart? No. Where Ezekiel lands after this diagnosis is what Jesus says is required to enter his kingdom — changed hearts.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. — Ezekiel 36:26-27

Jesus is the solution to the darkness in our world — and we, the church, his kingdom, are to model that solution as the light shining into the darkness. There are all sorts of ways we can bring light through human structures as we participate and are present in them — but unless there’s heart change involved we’re just asking people to destroy a piece of their own heart rather than offering a heart changed by God, by his spirit. It won’t work.

John’s account of Jesus’ use of ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ is fascinating. It develops through the Gospel, right from the prologue. He consistently introduces little narratives and interactions with people by orienting us as to whether it’s light or dark — Nicodemus comes to him in the cover of night, the woman at the well meets him at mid day (exposed by daylight), the disciples are terrified in the boat in the dark when he walks on water, the women come to the tomb ‘while it was still dark’… Darkness is bad. But on the other hand Jesus says:

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” — John 8:12

And his invitation is to walk with him and so become children of light. To receive the Spirit and be born again as children of the light.

“You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” — John 12:35-36

At that point he was predicting his death, but also forecasting his resurrection. When John then writes to the church after the resurrection he keeps going with the ‘light’ theme — and he suggests that as a result of the resurrection and the coming of the Spirit darkness’ days are numbered.

Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. — 1 John 2:8

Matthew’s Gospel also famously has Jesus saying some stuff about light in the Sermon On The Mount.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” — Matthew 5:14-16

The public perception of the institutional church in Australia isn’t this — it’s that we’re part of the darkness. But our own view of the world as we read the papers, and perhaps experience the fruits of this perception, seems to be that darkness is winning. We’re an anxious system perpetuating an anxious presence in the world. When we could be so much more.

We could be people who face up to the reality that the wolf doesn’t just lurk outside the door — but inside all of us.

We could be people who aren’t naive about the human condition and what it takes to protect sheep from wolves — or change wolves to sheep.

We could be people who know that the change required for all of us doesn’t simply come from rediscovering the image of God within us, or having it ‘educated’ into dominance, so that we’re restrained from evil just by common grace (which is better by far than unfettered evil), but from being re-created in the image of Jesus.

We could recognise that the doctrine of common grace means that our society, apart from us, might find some solutions to restrain the darkness of the human heart, but we Christians have the solution, the light of the world. And to not explicitly offer that is to do less than love our neighbours. It’s to give a rock when they ask for bread.

The line between darkness and light — evil and goodness — cuts through every human heart, and defeating evil requires our death and rebirth. Any other solution — individual or systemic — is a bandaid on the heart.

We could be people who believe the teaching of Jesus and so follow the example of Jesus offering our lives, our selves, to bring light to the world confident that even when darkness surrounds us, or takes us, light wins.

We could rebuild the trust people have in Christians and the church by being an institution that focuses on the needs of others — bringing light to the world, rather than self protection — hiding in darkness.

This requires a different sort of leadership and emphasis on different sorts of solutions — solutions that grapple with the heart of the problem and the Spiritual realities at play.

I don’t know how to make the darkness safe for any woman who wants to walk alone at night. But I do know light beats darkness — metaphorically and in actuality. Darkness is the absence of light, it’s not a thing in itself.

I don’t think we can change ‘wolves’ — or deal with the evil in the heart of humans — simply by tackling the culture, system, or environment around us. The dynamic between the culture around a person and the orientation of their heart and imagination is complicated and circular (our behaviours create cultures which reinforce and normalise behaviours which shape our hearts which drive behaviours which create cultures…) — but the Bible is pretty keen to suggest that our actions in the world are a product of our heart, and that a new heart comes from God, not just from education programs.

Or let me put it another way… cultural change driven outside the re-creating work of God on the hearts of people will not replace darkness with light but darkness with different darkness. Cultural change is important — and the church itself, the kingdom of God in this world, is a ‘culture’ that brings change to those within it in the way light changes darkness… and the job of this kingdom is, as Jesus says in Matthew 5, shine beyond itself as ‘the light of the world’ (which is why it’s so important the church sorts out its culture internally on abuse and domestic violence before we can be trusted to shine into the world). If we’re offering a solution to darkness that is not the kingdom of God then we are not really offering a solution at all.

The push for cultural change from many women is one that men should heed (here’s a good place to start — an uncomfortable (deliberately) read for men); but as Christians we have something more to say about the human condition and what solutions look like — and something more to do if we’re going to be a light in the dark world.

It’s not enough just to listen to and champion the voices of women on areas of cultural change we need — if we were going to be the sort of leaders in our community who follow the example of the good shepherd then we’d find ways to position ourselves between wolves and sheep to keep the night safe.

We’d be on watch. We’d walk beside people in the shadows. We’d set up services like Uber where we offer safe passage home — and we’d do it in ways that ensured the service operated above reproach (Uber can’t claim that). We’d open our churches and our homes as safe houses and sanctuaries— beacons of light in a dark world.

We’d call out darkness for what it is in little moments, not just big ones… and more than that — we’d point people to where light really is found (not just offer merely human solutions to a spiritual problem).

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:4-5