Musing on words that we usually read at Christmas:: ‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’
Starlight Express is a long running West End musical in which the actors perform the entire show on roller skates: Rusty, a steam engine, races against diesel and electric trains and overcomes the odds to win.
‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’ is a song of hope at the end of the show.
I’ve certainly known folk who are in their dark tunnel. Their current surroundings are dark; looking forward there is nothing but further blackness.
For some it is health-related – their cancer, heart condition or physical disability puts them in a dark place. For others the darkness is caused by their mental ill-health – depression, addiction, dementia, fears, failures…
Some dark tunnels are caused by friends or family… abuse, rejection, betrayal, disappointment, divorce, bereavement. Relationships that once were strong and loving are now broken, decayed or dead.
We can sit down and give up; sometimes we need the determination and strength to keep moving forward through our darkness, and the faith and hope to believe that there is light at the end of our tunnel.
Successful athletes speak of cold winter mornings when they have got up early to train; seemingly endless days of monotony, discomfort and pain. Covid survivors speak of extreme sickness, total helplessness and dependency, wondering whether they would make it. Those who have come through addiction speak of dark, persistent battles with their physical and mental demons…
The Starlight Express lyric repeats…
‘The inside might be as black as the night
But at the end of the tunnel there’s a light’
For Isaiah the prophet the Light at the End of the tunnel would come from the one who was going to be the ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’