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Please visit the Spiritual Care page of the USA website for resources on stress reduction and coping, including an artificial intelligence chatbot named “WYSA” that you may download on your phone.

Published Nov 1st, 2022

By Kim Crawford Meeks
Spiritual Care Manager

I was at a campground last year in the middle of a forest. We parked our tiny camper, and the sun went down. Darkness rested upon the day, and it became night. I couldn’t see other campers, and for some time I couldn’t hear anything but silence. Eventually I did hear crickets and frogs, and against the dark night, something began to happen to change my view. I began to see little pieces of light. There in the middle of the forest were thousands of fireflies, and they were twinkling, shining, sparkling and glowing. It was as if they were shining their tiny lights to the rhythm of the chirping and croaking. A natural symphony of light and sound.

Joyce Rupp, a Catholic writer and poet, states in her writing titled “Little Pieces of Light” that we should “become more comfortable with darkness.” Rupp adds: “I gratefully acknowledge how darkness has become less of an enemy for me and more of a place of silent nurturance, where the slow, steady gestation needed for my soul’s growth can occur. Not only is light a welcomed part of my life, but I am also developing a greater understanding of how much I need to befriend my inner darkness.”

Rupp is offering us great wisdom, because we will all have times when darkness seems to engulf us. Perhaps in those moments, we can take life a bit more slowly, breathe more deeply and look for even the twinkle of a tiny firefly for a glimmer of light and hope.

There may be darkness, but there is always light somewhere in the darkness. Sometimes a brilliant beam of light, but sometimes only a small flicker. We must wait for that flicker of light, and then embrace it to take us to brighter days. One way to practice this is to think of something very small and simple to be thankful for. We may allow an attitude of gratitude to carry us through a difficult time. Perhaps be thankful for the things we often take for granted like hot water, or toothpaste, or even warm socks. Maybe thankfulness could begin with the dew that kisses a petal on a leaf outside your window. Perhaps we begin a journey through darkness by opening our eyes to see the sunlight as it peeks behind the curtain to tell us we have new mercies each day.

Breathe through the darkness, and look for the light.

Patients, family members and USA Health associates are encouraged to call the Meaningful Reflections Line at 251-445-9016 for a daily recorded word of encouragement.

kcrawfordmeeks@health.southalabama.edu

Spiritual Care webpage

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