Ladders & Lights

by Issy Davies

I love ladders. While most people shy away from their wobbling, it’s just enough of a risk-but-not-too-dangerous to give me a bit of a buzz. Plus, the child in me still loves climbing things…

After a few trips up the ladder, though, the adrenaline wears off and I get a little light-headed. I can still make it to the top but I’m slower with my steps, more grateful for the person at my feet holding me steady.

Cue Sunday afternoon, and find me at the top of a ladder the height of St Oswald’s Institute’s ceiling, stringing up fairy lights into a canopy (think Durham Marketplace Christmas lights, but not quite as impressive) to rest above our heads for the Guest Service. At the end of Lumiere weekend, it seemed only right to focus our theme on Jesus as our ‘Light Out of Darkness’. Miriam Swaffield (from Fusion) joined us to talk about what it means to know Jesus as hope in a world that seems to be steadily growing darker.

Life as an Intern is busy. I, personally, do not like being busy. I’m more of a be-er than a do-er and Intern life requires constant movement from placement to placement, from theology to Appleby Café, from one-to-ones and French lessons and studying, to everything else on the to-do list that seems to pile up as quickly as things can be crossed off. It’s hard to make time for resting with God, when it feels like something might fall off the delicately balanced pile of stuff on my shoulders.

If the Internship is like climbing a ladder, then I’m getting lightheaded. It’s full of wonderful things pushing me to live more like Jesus, but it’s also a learning curve. The up-and-down snatches my breath away and I need a moment of pause; a reassuring smile from the one holding the ladder steady.

These lines from ‘So Will I’ hit me every time:

God of your promise,
You don’t speak in vain,
No syllable empty or void.

Life isn’t always easy. Darkness creeps into our minds, our health, our relationships. We could build a hierarchy of issues that are bigger and darker than others – depression, illness, grief. But realistically, we all live in this world darkening like a dimmer switch and whether the heaviest things land on our shoulders or not, the weight is there. Sometimes things are busy when we don’t want them to be busy and finding peace is harder among the expectations to meet, the tightrope-walking, the fear of slipping.

But God is a God of His promise. Promising comfort when we need it; bringing good things among all our complicated bits of life. Most of all, He promises us future hope, when He will restore the brokenness of our world to its best and brightest and fullest.

With the snap of glow sticks across a dark St Oswald’s Institute, we lift up our dark situations to God, inviting His light in.