…back in 1939. She came into a world lit mostly by flame. The flame was the burning reality of the Battle for Britain. Every night, Nazi warplanes came in over London. Every morning, crews cleaned up the damaged and carted off the dead. This was her life.
Her family’s tiny flat in London, England, was heavily draped with Black Out Curtains. The British did not care to make life any easier for the Luftwaffe by letting the least speck of light guide them to their target. So, far all her life, the little girl knew about death in the streets and dark in the night.
Finally, when she was just five years of age, the Luftwaffe pilots could no longer reach London. The destructive forces who once came in waves now could not even come in a trickle, or hardly leave a drop. The lights of the city gradually came on at night again. One night, even her very strict mother decided they could open the window at night and pull back the heavy, dingy Black Out drapes.
When her mother started to peel back the curtains, the little girl cried. She had not cried during the war. Like all Britons, she sat stoically in the dark, waiting for the bombs to come, fearful, disquieted but never defeated. Now, just now, when the bombers had gone for the last time and the night was safe again, she was terrified.
“Daughter,” her mother told her, “why are you afraid. We are going to open the curtains to let out the light.”
“Mummy, mummy,: she answered, “It is lovely to let out the light.”
“But, how,” she continued, “can we keep out the dark?”
All her short life, the little London lass thought light might go out someday to bring beauty to the world. Yet, she also feared the dark, waiting just on the other side of the heavy curtains. If the window were opened so the light could emerge, what was there prevent the coming of the dark?
Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. They day when we draw back the curtains to let out the light. And the day when we find the emergence of the light pushes back the dark. The dark cannot win, or even cause a stumble. Little girls need not fear. What is right and good may not always win but the right and the good finally win Light is more powerful than dark. the simple release of the light is the single greatest thing we may do to keep out the dark.
Merry Christmas. Let out the Light. Do not fear the dark, or be wary over its coming. There is force in the light.
Even if the dark has lasted all your life. Light overcomes.