My Friend Darkness

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again…

Paul Simon songs were an important part of my teenage years…

Generally in life light is good, darkness is bad. It’s good when we ‘see the light’ or a child is ‘bright’; it’s bad when we’re ‘kept in the dark’ or we go through a ‘dark lonesome valley’…

And yet… Paul Simon sees darkness as his friend…

Traditionally… God is a god of light; the devil and forces of evil are ‘dark’. At Christmas we remember ‘the people who walk in darkness have seen a great light’… Jesus came as ‘the light of the world’ to shine in and dispel darkness….

Yesterday I read ‘Embracing the Darkness’, an article by musician Chris Llewellyn. He describes positive aspects of darkness: ‘It is in the darkness that we are rested and restored; where we heal and recover from the damage we sustain in daylight… darkness is where intimacy and romance flourish… Darkness isn’t inherently villainous. It is simply the other half of the day.’

Chris Lewellyn sees darkness as his friend…


God made darkness. The Bible narrative starts with God creating… first darkness and then light. The two come together; you can’t have one without the other.

God is present in darkness. King David writes a wonderful account of God being everywhere; his God’s with him in both light and darkness – ‘darkness and light are alike to you.’

There are treasures in darkness. I often want life to be bright, easy and clear… to see where I’m going… to ‘live in the light’… ‘this little light of mine’ to shine alongside God’s big light.

And yet… I know that my times of darkness, where life has been toughest, have taught me lessons about myself; friends have stepped up and friendships have deepened; my empathy and understanding of others has grown… faith in my God has deepened… I’ve discovered treasures in my darkness.

Perhaps I’m discovering that darkness is my friend.

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