This morning Joel and I went on a walk from our house to a nearby park. It’s a walk we’ve been taking quite often lately, as we are trying to get into better shape. The path we take winds through our neighborhood, across a busy street to a trail, and then descends into the park, where we cross a bridge that takes us over Soldier Creek. The sound of running water is always peaceful and soothing to me. I often pause on the bridge to stare into the water, watching its ebbs and flows.
We’ve taken this exact path so many times lately that I’ve come to know what to expect. Which is why, this morning, I stopped suddenly in surprise when I saw writing on the bridge. The writing was subtle, it wasn’t in paint or sharpie, and didn’t appear to be any overt form of vandalism. Rather the words appeared to be dry spots on the wet boards of the bridge, as if they had somehow avoided the rain that fell all around them. It was clear these words would only appear when the bridge was wet, after a storm. The words said this:
“Stars can’t shine without darkness.”
I found these words to be profound, particularly on this holy day, Maundy Thursday. It reminds us that without darkness, the light has no meaning. In three days we will celebrate the resurrection, but for the next three days we sit in the darkness and wait.