Light seems so much brighter when we are emerging from the darkness. This is why I need that Tenebrae service, to sit and bear witness to the darkness, to recognize it, and then to surrender it. Not surrender to the darkness, but to surrender the darkness.
We have experienced a long night where we have been brought face-to-face with the staggering inequities pervading our society. No longer are we able to say we didn’t know, for we have seen with our eyes, heard with our ears, witnessed in multiple ways, how those on our margins have been left in Egypt to fend for themselves.
It is a mass exodus of individuals. And it is a lonely exodus. Not only have I lost the community I once had, I found myself without a community to enter.
It’s been a long road, and it’s not over, though it does seem to be changing. And we felt we couldn’t let this moment pass without marking it together in some way.
The loved one is in prison, the hospital, hospice, quarantine, or serving abroad. Some extended families face all of these circumstances at once right now. Yet the scriptures don’t avoid the expectation to feel joy.
Instead, we perpetuate myths about homelessness that embolden our stance against policy that will set them free. We stay secure in our implicit and explicit beliefs that certain people have opted out of deserving our compassion.
It’s a mystery our culture often refuses to face, Peterson argues; and while her book was written almost entirely before the Covid pandemic, this contemplation of death—our cultural refusal to face death, the transformative power that accompanies those who do—is prescient, Peterson’s voice prophetically calling us to “awaken to death” as a way to live more profoundly.