The thing about darkness is that she falls quick.
If you’re a camper or a hiker, you know this. Hiking the Appalachian Trail taught me to set up camp with hours of daylight left. Why? Because darkness falls quick. It has a way of inching up on you, then suddenly enveloping you without any warning at all. The sun gives a fight, but flees a bit too soon. And, the darkness and all her friends are left. You’d better be prepared when she wins out.
But we know that the darks’ most ferocious bite isn’t found in the sky. Her true bite lies inside us. In our hearts.
Heartache. Brokenness. Doubt. Isolation. Anxiety. Fear. Envy. Hopelessness. Emptiness. Victim. Cutting. Anger. Depression. Debt. Cancer. Sickness. War. Violence. Abuse. Sabotage. Destruction. Death.
These are the sick playgrounds she builds in our hearts; the hunting grounds through which she so deftly preys. She’s a skilled hunter, with the painstaking patience of a sniper and the coldblooded accuracy of an assassin. When the time is just right, she strikes fast and without warning.
All of those feelings, all those thoughts, all falling fast like the night.
There’s a bit of a twist in our story, an unknown character walking in those same shadows. But He doesn’t hide. He saunters through the murky night with a bit of a swagger, with the kind of a walk that makes a statement. He’s not overwhelmed here, not succumbed to fear — it’s as if, well, it’s as if he’s been here before.
Some might call him a warrior, but he shys a bit at the description. His hands have never wrought death, though he’s held death in his grip. No, his hands have only brought life. If he’s a warrior, he’s a different kind of fighter — one that delights in peace and life rather than death and spoils.
So, wanderer, take heart if you are surrounded by the night.
For it is here that the warrior finds you. It is here that you are protected, known, and emboldened. It is here, amid the hell, that the warrior whispers your name in a way you’ve never heard before. It’s in this moment that you know who you are and what you are capable of. You are not meant for defeat, not meant for the grave. You’re meant for something new and brave.
For when the warrior whispers, he exposes the truth about darkness. She falls quick.