Staring Down the Darkness


Remember the game we used to play growing up, where two people would stare at each other, until eventually one of them would blink, thereby losing the game and leaving the other victorious?  Our congressional representatives play this game all the time.  It’s called “brinkmanship”.  But this post isn’t about them or politics.  It’s about us, irregardless of race, gender, or political persuasion.  It’s about humanity.

Resurrection Sunday reminds us that death and evil blinked, and the cross which was once a symbol of death, but now life, was victorious.

Hell is angered because it has been frustrated, it is angered because it has been mocked, it is angered because it has been destroyed, it is angered because it has been reduced to nothing, it is angered because it is now captive.  It seized a body; and lo! it discovered God; it seized earth, and, behold! it encountered heaven; it seized the visible, and was overcome by the invisible.

O death, where is your sting? O hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen and life is freed, Christ is risen and the tomb is empty.”  St. John Chrysostom died 407

Is there a difference between staring at the darkness of night and staring down the darkness of night?  Consider this:  we can stare at the night wondering how we’ll get through it, or we can stare down the night knowing that soon, the sun will break the eastern horizon and bring light to our part of the world again.

The same holds true for those times in our life when we are faced with darkness.  It could be an unwanted or expected diagnosis, the death of a loved one, a divorce, etc.  I’ve experienced all three, and know how dark those times can be.

I know that I can just stare at those times of darkness, wondering how I’ll make it through, or stare down the darkness, refusing to blink, knowing that soon the Son will break forth and bring light to my darkness.

O death, where is your victory?   O death, where is your sting?

You blinked!