Several years ago when I was part of a mission trip to the tiny village of Las Mercedes in Nicaragua, we would gather at night on the field, reflect upon the day, and just stare at the millions of stars. The stars, of course, were no different from those shining over our homes back in Massachusetts, but we could see them here in all their splendor because after the great star disappeared, there was no artificial light to distract. Because of the absence of the light we were used to, we could clearly see the beauty that had been there all along.
We are living in a time of absence now—absence of human contact, absence of familiar schedules, and, for many, absence of hope. It is not hard to sink into the darkness, to focus on what we are missing, not knowing when things will go “back to normal.”
But into this darkness have come some bright spots—some stars, if you will. You may have heard of the Italians coming together in a Balcony Flash Mob. Others have collaborated on virtual balconies. There was “Love, Sweet Love” sung by the students of Berklee College of Music, “Me and the Sky” by cast members and fans of Come From Away, and my favorite: Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” by members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
None of this music was new. All the performers had played or sung before. What was new was the sharing across boundaries of time and space and the desire to make the world brighter in a dark time. May you find the stars in your darkness today.
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” Og Mandino