Watching Lightning

“A traveler loses his way in the forest; it is dark and he is afraid. Danger lurks behind every tree. A storm shatters the silence. The fool looks at the lightning, the wise man at the road that lies – illuminated- before him.” = Stories of the Hasidim


My heart has been heavy as the darkened storm clouds of hatred and strife have gathered around our cities and homes.

I have been lost amidst the woods of uncertainty.

Longing to respond, but unsure as to the next step.

Then the lightning hits.

Some act that illuminates the reality of depth of our brokenness.

Pending my proximity to the strike, it leaves its mark even after I close my eyes.

Shadow images of pain and violence.

The thunder clap of tension reverberates around me and my heart quakes inside my chest.

So many of us long for hope.

We long to do something.

But are we just watching lightning?

We look to social media, a lightning storm of emotion.

Words said in anger, without regard as to context.

News sources reporting how bad the lightning strike was and the dangers of where the next one could hit.

Yet does this help us out of the forest?

Or does it merely distract our eyes while our hearts stumble in the darkness?


What if we were to look at the forest instead?

Lightning will hit.

Yet in its flash of light, revealing the depths of brokenness, it can also reveal the path through the woods.

The path of repentance.

The lightning shows our brokenness.

All of us.

We are all in need.

We are all broken.

We are all hurt.

This path that lays before us is hard.

It is humbling.

To walk the path of repentance is to surrender my self sufficiency.

To walk the path of repentance is to acknowledge my humanity.

To walk this path is to acknowledge that I need a Savior.

To acknowledge why it is that Jesus had to come.

Watching the lightning does not change the heart.

Walking the hard road of repentance does.


This world is harsh.

Lightning will strike.

Thunder will quake.

Yet God will reveal our path.

May we all be humble enough to walk it.

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