This week has been an interesting one in Salina. Electricity has been off for many of us and the darkness is striking as you drive through intersections with traffic signals darkened and neighborhoods unilluminated. Streets seem abandoned as people leave their cold, dark homes at night for warmer places. Though always thankful for my job, I have been especially grateful this week, as lights and heat have welcomed me each morning.
Light and the absence of it, is a powerful thing. It is such an incidental part of our days that we most often take for granted. Forgive me if I’m being a bit too philosophical at this point, but I think there is a definite correlation between light and hope. As the days wore on this week, everybody has had a harder time keeping their head up and their attitude positive. There were no guarantees of who would get power restored when and the general answer on the phone has been "3-10 days" and "we’re hoping to have all power restored by December 22." No matter how optimistic one tries to stay, however, December 10 to December 22 is a long time! There is a certain despair that darkness brings that is difficult to ignore.
So, imagine our delight when I turned into our driveway this afternoon and saw steam coming from our neighbor’s laundry vent! I directed Jenna’s attention to it, pointing excitedly. We were hesitant to hope as we walked through our own front door. Although there were no lights on, we could hear the heater going and the oven clock in the kitchen was flashing to be reset. OK, now it’s time to rejoice! We called my husband, mom and our older daughter to share the good news. After four days, light had been restored and so has hope.
I am mindful that many are still waiting for that restoration. I was talking to a friend yesterday who is still without electricity. Usually a very positive and encouraging person, she was struggling. As we continued our conversation she mentioned "one good thing" that has come of her whole situation. By the time we ended our conversation, we had come up with three. I am thankful for family and friendships that help us through the dark times and help us to find at least one good thing.
As I was driving back to work I passed both my husband and my older daughter as they were headed home. I was struck by the picture that slapped me in the face and the symbolism that I read into way too many of life’s mundane moments. They were headed home… to the warmth and the light contained within; to the comfort of familiar surroundings. It didn’t take them long from the time that I had called them, to the time they decided to return home. It doesn’t take long for hope to be restored by the light either.
For those of you who still don’t have light, may you find the hope of "one good thing" in your situation. Until electricity is restored, that hope can carry you through! As for me, I will give thanks for the light-that huge gift that had become ordinary and that I had come to take for granted. At this Christmas season, how appropriate it is to rejoice as we celebrate The Light!
Wishing You a Bright and Blessed Christmas Season,