I was locked inside the library with my boss and co-worker on Saturday. The building was surrounded by barricades and police. I could see snipers on the rooftops overlooking our downtown square. A garbage truck was parked in the middle of the street to keep someone from using a vehicle as a weapon.
And still I tried to do some work. That didn’t go so well.
I was drawn back to the window that gave us the best vantage point to the activity below. You see, Darkness had come to Murfreesboro.
They told us they were coming. Even asked for a permit to show up. It’s funny how evil has a right just like everyone else does, or should.
The weird thing about it…Darkness wasn’t just a one-sided visitor. No, Darkness had infiltrated through multiple venues that day, through those who came to support the “permitted” group, and through those who opposed it. Sprinkled in between, were candles of light, but I’ll talk more about that later.
It was the Darkness that had my attention. Some was obvious in hoods or masks, or signs with filthy language. Other showed itself in language that lied, hurt, abused, accused, profaned and threatened. It hurt my ears–literally. Then other Darkness was seen in the bringing of children, innocents into a sea of utter profanity and ugliness.
It was a day I never want to see again.
But then something happened…it all fizzled out. The permitted Darkness backed out, went home, didn’t even show up. They gave some pitiful reason, but I know why.
Light conquered darkness.
Post tenebras lux means “after darkness light”, and while the Light did shine after the Darkness left our town, the Light was there all along…pushing back. The days before the Darkness was due to arrive, people of The Light had been praying, calling on the Father of Light to come down on our city with power. He listened and answered our prayers.
While the main result of those prayers was to get the main group of White Supremacists to stay away, the Light also shown in the order and strength of our Law Enforcement, who stood their ground between protest groups. They were a force for good in the midst of those who would intend evil. Then there were the smaller groups of Light, interspersed among the crowd, smiling, holding positive signs, singing, sharing words of hope in the midst of darkness. Light dispels Darkness.
Did you ever think about the fact that there is only a “light” switch in your house, not a “darkness” switch? With the fall of Adam and Eve, Darkness has had free reign in this world, but that does not mean it’s won the final battle. No, that has already been decided on the cross by the Light of the World, Jesus. Through him, we are able to shine our lights, little as they might be. But even a little candle can shatter the darkest dark.
That’s what happened in my hometown this weekend, and it was amazing to see.
Post tenebras lux is a motto of the Protestant Reformation, which is 500 years old today. It may be a dark, Halloween day in our country’s history, but the Light still shines. Martin Luther was brave enough to stand up and shine for truth in his day. I pray that we will be as brave in ours. This weekend showed me that we have nothing to fear, even if the Darkness comes to town. For, always…after the darkness, LIGHT.
Grace and Peace