A way to let darkness teach us what we need to know

LearningtoWalkintheDark-BarbaraBrownTaylorLearning to Walk in the Dark
Barbara Brown Taylor (HarperCollins, 2015)

by Rob Roi

“Christianity has never had anything nice to say about darkness. From earliest times, Christianity has used ‘darkness’ as a synonym for sin, ignorance, spiritual blindness and death.”

This is a quote written by the author Barbara Brown Taylor, who is an Episcopal priest and a professor of religion at Piedmont College.

Throughout this book, Barbara explains the various ways that she overcame her understanding of darkness. She went spelunking in unlit caves, learned to eat and cross the street as a blind person, discovered how “dark emotions” are prevented from seeing light from a psychiatrist and rereading scripture to see all the times God shows up at night.

Barbara is our guide through a spirituality of the night time, teaching us how to find God even in darkness, and giving us a way to let darkness teach us what we need to know. “A bed, in short, is where you face your nearness to or farness from God.” She quotes 1 John 1:5, “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.”

She believes we need darkness as well as light.

The Reverend Rob Roi is a parish deacon at St. James’ Dundas.