Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, December 29

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
—John 1:15

Not long ago I met a man. Gracious, caring, and personable would just begin to describe him. But in the course of our conversation, I also discovered that he suffered from depression. He had dealt with the disease for many years and had been hospitalized several times.

I asked him what had helped him the most—what had allowed him to move beyond the darkness and into the light. His answer wasn't that surprising. He simply said, "People."

Others are always necessary to our health and wholeness. We cannot survive as separate islands in the sea of life. We need the constant community of being together with others because in the midst of them, we discover the commonality of our stories. The one with depression discovers those who have suffered the darkness, and in their sharing, they find light.

In sharing the fears of cancer, victims and survivors alike look beyond disease to discover a place of hope and life. Children from abuse discover others who share their secret, and in the process, experience the kindled fire of God amidst what had been only coals and ash.

The common bonds of our humanity bring the love of God into focus no matter what we have experienced. If we are isolated, we begin to see ourselves as unlovable, unusual, untouchable. But when we are in community, when we reach out to others, we discover the gift of who we are in ties that bind, in the freedom that comes in sharing ourselves with those around us.

So, reach out. Find others and spend time face to face. Don't just use e-mail or instant messaging. Really be with them, look them in the face, and see the community that God has given so that we all might discover new life together.

Gracious God, you give me others that I might discover more of who I am in them. Show me how to share my life with others that, together, we might be the people you called into being from the foundations of the world. Amen.