Earlier this week, Judy Ebeling passed me an article on Barbara Brown Taylor‘s new memoir, Learning to Walk in the Dark.

In this book, Taylor asks us to rethink the notion that “dark” should be associated with “evil”, and conversely that “light” should be associated with “good”.  The tendency toward this juxtaposition is perhaps especially evident in the season of Easter.  “Easter lilies, the sound of trumpets and bright streaming light” can mask the fact that the Resurrection itself occurred in a dark cave.

Rather than view darkness as a problem to be overcome, Taylor urges us to welcome the spiritual insight and growth attending those dark periods in our lives.  The book Taylor relates a series of her own “dark” life experiences.  She also asks her readers to reexamine various Biblical passages that enrich our understanding of the dark.

“We are supposed to get over it, fix it, purchase something, do whatever it takes to become less sad,” she says.  “Turning into darkness, instead of away from it, is the cure for a lot of what ails me.”

“If you are in the dark,” says Taylor, “it does not man that you have failed and that you have taken some terrible misstep.  For many years, I thought my questions and my doubt, my sense of God’s absence were all signs of my lack of faith, but now I know this is the way the life of the spirit goes.”

I regret that I have not read this book (yet), so our formal rooster rating must wait.  If there is anyone out there who would like to contribute a formal review of this book, that would be greatly appreciated.  I would note, that if you click the image of the book cover in this article, you will note that the book is currently available in an audio edition, as well.  There is also some nice dialogue on the book on Barbara Brown Taylor’s Facebook Page, for your review & reflection.

Peace to you on this blessedly dark morning.  May you find God dwelling in the shadows.


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