Monday, 14 December 2015

Light in the darkness by Sue Irving 14th December 2015

I am usually a morning person, but I am struggling to get out of bed at the moment because it is still dark when the alarm goes off. Winter’s long hours of darkness make me more aware of how much I need the light for a sense of joy and wellbeing. We all ultimately need light to thrive – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
However, I am aware that many people currently feel surrounded by darkness. In the wider world, there are those who have been affected by terrorist attacks or natural disasters like the recent floods in Cumbria. In my more immediate circle of friends and acquaintances, there are those who have been bereaved or gone through a divorce, suffer from chronic or life-threatening illnesses, or have to deal with their own or a loved one’s mental health issues. The list goes on and on. You don’t have to look far to find problems.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed - yet I only have to step out on a clear winter’s night and look up at the moon and the stars to be reminded that light is ultimately stronger than darkness.
As writers, we can help to spread hope through our words. These opportunities are of course not limited to this season. However, this is the time of year when we may get in touch with those we do not regularly talk to. I wonder what might happen if we added a personal message to our Christmas cards rather than just signing with our names? (I have sometimes been amazed when people have thanked me for something I had written to them - I had usually long forgotten what I wrote and in many cases that I wrote!)
Our words may help somebody to see that there is light at the end of the darkest tunnel. Those who are distracted and stressed out by Christmas preparations would also benefit to be reminded where light, hope and meaning can be found.
At CWR’s annual Christmas lunch for partners, Philip Greenslade encouraged us to remember that
1)      God is the real Father of Christmas,
2)      Jesus is the perfect gift,  and
3)      the Holy Spirit embodies the true spirit of Christmas.
I wonder who needs to hear that? It may be a fellow Christian, who has temporarily lost sight of the reason we celebrate, or someone who has never connected Christmas with God, let alone with salvation. May we all find meaningful ways to communicate about the Light this Christmas and beyond.
About the author:
Sue Irving is the co-ordinator for the Creative Communicators in Petersfield. She has co-written a book with her husband John about their experiences when climbing Kilimanjaro. It is aimed at both trekkers and those who are going through a dark time in their lives. How to conquer a mountain: Kilimanjaro lessons is available as a paperback and an e-book on Amazon, with all proceeds going to charity.


  1. Thanks for this Sue. At this time of year it is often difficult to remember what is really important

  2. Communicating the light. Beautifully put. A light is often most effective by simply being there, not by over-dazzling.