Darkness and Light
Even darkness is no darkness with you;
The night is as clear as the day;
Darkness and light to you are both alike.
Reading and praying in the words of the psalms can be a transformative experience. These are words and poetry that have stood the test of time, mostly they are 2500 years old or older.
The psalms were the prayer-book of Jesus they therefore connect us with him. They also connect our emotions with the otherworldly reality of God. The honesty of the psalms in reflecting the whole range of human emotions, joy as well as anger and fear as well as serenity, can make them at times uncomfortable to read.
Sometimes I also feel that the psalms reflect an experience of God that connects us with the experience of God in other faiths such as some Indian religions and Islam as well as, of course, Judaism. Psalm 139 is such a psalm, it speaks of God as personally close to us because, paradoxically, he is everywhere, a tension between the particular and the universal that every faith addresses, and here it is addressed on the level of our emotions and our personal experience.
The darkness of verses 11 & 12 could be a darkness in which we try and hide from God, but it could also be a darkness in which we are stuck with our feelings – our inner darkness – in which God himself wants to be present and of which he is not frightened.
Whichever way, the psalm reassures us that God is in the darkness because even in the deepest darkness God can see the light.
14 October 2018