The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? - Psalm 27:1 I don't know about you, but I don't like the dark. It's not that I'm afraid of the dark, but rather that I'm afraid of things that may lurk about in the dark. Just last night, I heard a scratching sound in the bathroom. I know it's not uncommon for critters to find their way inside our walls, especially the bathroom walls, but I knew I wouldn't be at ease until I verified there wasn't something actually in the bathroom. I crept toward the door, listening for the sound of scratching. As I pushed the door open slowly, I reached in and flipped on the light. With the room lit, I then felt comfortable to go in and explore. . . but not in the dark, never in the dark. Speaking of dark, I recall a vacation Jason and I took to Pigeon Forge several years ago. We were staying in a cozy little cabin, but the first night we were there, the power went out. Now, I don't know if you've ever been tucked back in the woods of Tennessee, but let me tell you, it's an entirely new level of dark. There was no light anywhere. No street lamps. No moonlight, for it was overcast. No light from electronics because the power was out. The darkness was stifling. I first discovered the power outage as I stumbled, feeling my way along the walls to the bathroom early in the morning. I found the bathroom door and then the light switch. I flipped the switch, but nothing happened. So I did the most logical thing I could think of—I flipped it again and again. Strangely, each time I flipped the switch, a new sense of panic welled up inside me. It was dark. I was in an unfamiliar place. And I was getting scared. Of what? I have no idea, but darkness does that, you know. It creates fear for no reason at all. That's why I'm glad I know the Lord as my light. No matter how dark our path may get, we will never truly be in darkness as long as our eyes are fixed on the Lord. He is our Light. He offers shelter from the impending darkness as well as peace from the fear it evokes in us. It is that Light that guides us by illuminating the paths we should take along our journey. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105) And it is that Light that serves as a beacon of hope when situations look grim, and we feel like giving in. Do you know what else? Nothing, and I mean nothing, can extinguish His light. No power outage can diminish His glow. No cloud coverage can block out His rays. He is an ever-present Light, and because of that, we need never walk in darkness. As for our cabin experience, I've since made a habit of carrying my cell phone to bed with me when abiding in unfamiliar territory. That way I know light is within my reach. Something about the knowledge that instant light is waiting on the nightstand allows me to rest peacefully and even to enjoy the darkness. It's strange, I know, but darkness brings out peculiar behavior. Funny, they say darkness is the absence of light, but if God is our Light, and He is never absent, can there truly be darkness? How's that for a thought to ponder today?
Or, if you're uneasy about making online payments, you can send a check made out to Dana Rongione. My mailing address is 102 Edwards Street, Greenville, SC 29609. Thank you for your help and support in making this mission trip possible.