Monday, December 2, 2013
the light at the end of the Etowah tunnel
It was an overcast early summer day when my husband and our four children divided up between two canoes and started down the Etowa river in Georgia.Our youngest son was three and the others 8,10 and 12.Although we had life jackets on, I was feeling some trepidation.My husband and I were in the old green canoe with our youngest.
As we went down the rapids, we noticed a fork in the river. One branch of the river kept going and the other went through an old tunnel.My husband said that it was safe to choose that route if ,when looking through ,we saw light at the other end.If not,there was blockage of trees or something else and we might not get out.We saw light in the distance and off we went.In a quick minute ,I became terrified.If my son fell out,I would not be able to see him in the dark rushing water.We banged against the tunnel walls,slimy and wet and the canoe turn completely around in the rapids.The journey seemed to take forever.I kept watching the entrance as it got nearer and nearer and finally with tears streaming,we hit sunlight.Safe.From a scary, empty place to safety.
In Advent, we celebrate the journey from darkness to light.Two things come to mind.When I first came to be a Christian believer, in California in 1971.Filled with excitement, I thought,"Yes, I can see."What a difference.
The second remembrance happened when going through a very dark time in my life.A darkness that had me feeling as if an ant's belly was a higher thing than my self-worth.I went to counselling with a young priest and poured my soul onto the green carpet.He was our parish priest and a friend of the family.With his goatee,sparkling brown eyes and wicked sense of humor,many laughs have been shared.But in counselling, he was serious,supportive,a rock of sound judgment.After each session,I felt stronger.Once, after meeting, he motioned for me to come to his room and he asked advice about the kind of curtains he should buy.Big deal you say?
Let me tell you something:that few minutes was like a pump filling the flat tire of my self.He thought I was worthy enough,valuable enough to be asked my opinion.He never knew what that meant.A light shone in my darkness and it grew and grew.A coming.Advent.