Defiant Hope

It’s midnight. Dark except the gentle glow of lights wrapped round a tree. We’ve brought a tree inside, strange as it is. Speckled it with lights in the midst of the year’s growing dark. It’s madness, this indoor tree. What right has life like this inside brick and mortar?

One of the Season’s many mysteries.

I’ve not always had the words, but I’ve found myself thankful, and somehow proud, of the stunning madness that is lights and trees just as the world becomes dark and lifeless. It seems to me an act of defiance. A refusal to accept the dark as the final word.

And yet, the dark is real. I need only look to my left, out the window, to see. Gray is the brightest we get, even with all these lights and trees. So here we are, millions of defiant tree-lighters, waiting for day.

But we are not the first to wait.

A promise was made long ago. People walking in darkness would see a great light. The Maker of Life Himself would be with them. A Savior would come. Madness.

Still, generations waited. They hoped. They clung desperately to the promise until one day a baby was born. Mystery of mysteries, this baby was Life, and the Life was the Light of all humanity.

Christ, the Savior, came and dwelt among us. He took on skin and infiltrated our brokenness. The promise was kept.

But still, the dark. It’s right there, outside my window, inside the walls, inside my heart. Pain I can’t make sense of. Wars that never cease. Hunger and loneliness and fear and shame. Can all these things be made new? Madness.

Still, still, still, we wait. Advent is defiant hope. Hope against all odds that the stories are true, that our Savior will come again in blazing light. One day death will retreat, never to return. Darkness will not have the final word.

Until then, we light our trees. We light these candles, and we wait.


  1. Lisa - December 6, 2015 @ 8:19 pm

    Absolutely beautiful…

  2. Elisabeth Lind - December 6, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

    Thank you, Erin. This is beautiful and a much needed reminder. Thanks for speaking truth to me in such a beautiful way today.

  3. John Wesley Leek - June 29, 2016 @ 8:16 pm

    This is fantastic Erin. Keep at it. :)

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