Have you ever been left in the dark?
When Tom and I help close up the Visitors Center at Kings Mountain, one of the things we do is put “clubs” on the doors so they can’t be opened from the outside, even if someone has the key. We put clubs on the main doors, the “back” doors and the emergency exit doors from the museum. On one of my first days at the Visitors Center, I headed to the museum to put the club on the door. Just after I installed the club, as I was walking away from the door, the lights in the museum went out. I was left in the dark.
There are no windows in the museum and it was completely and utterly dark. The museum isn’t that large, so I thought if I let my eyes adjust, I would be able to find my way out. But the breakers had been turned off (another duty at the end of the day) and I couldn’t see anything. I started to walk toward where I thought the exit was, but I got stuck in a “tree” – all the exhibits are located in large “trees” in the museum. It took me a little while to figure out that I wasn’t following the curtained wall, but instead was inside a fabric covered tree.
I wasn’t too worried, because I figured someone would notice that I was missing, and I was sure Tom wouldn’t go home without me. So I yelled for a while – the museum is pretty soundproof – and then I waited for someone to notice I was missing. I waited and waited. It seemed like forever, but was probably closer to five minutes. Finally I decided that if I was going to get out of the museum, I was going to have to figure it out myself. So I tried, as best I could, to retrace my steps to the emergency exit. After feeling around, I found the bars on the door and the club that I had placed there. Remembering that these were the emergency exit doors, I braced myself for an alarm, removed the club, and opened the door.
Nothing happened, except that I was out of the museum. I could see the other staff in the Visitors Center, talking and laughing, waiting for me and not at all concerned that I was missing. Someone turned the lights back on and someone else put the club back on the door and we all went home for the evening. But I remember how it felt to be left in the dark and not know how to get out.
We sometimes sing a hymn called “Lamb of God” which includes the words “I was so lost, I should have died but you have brought me to your side, to be led by your staff and rod, and to be called a lamb of God.” On Good Friday, Jesus was the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins. When he died, we were left in the dark. We were lost. We should have died.
But on Easter, Jesus rose again and invited all of us into the light. He showed us how to get out – follow Him! We can find our way because He is the Way. Because He rose, we are never left in the dark. Instead, we are by His side, led by Him.
Let us never forget what it feels like to be left in the dark.
And let us always remember what it means to be invited to live at His side in the light.