Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassment (01/12/12)
TITLE: The Mystery of Darkness
By Shanta Richard
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I often put the wrong name to familiar faces, forget dates and appointments. Credit cards, check books, keys and spectacles seem to walk away from the places I put them. Activities of daily living, take more time and effort than they used to. The darkness of age surrounds me and I gradually sink into it. The belief that I am becoming useless and worthless gains strength as days pass by.
I had graduated from nursing school at the ripe old age of sixty. As an older person, I needed more time to study, to practice, to comprehend and understand, than my classmates. Whenever I made the slightest of mistakes they embarrassed me with their condescending smiles and whispered, “She is old, you know”.
Then one day I read about Abraham and Sarah. I realized that when Sarah heard, that at her age, she was going to have a child she laughed in embarrassment. And also in the story of Zacharias and Elisabeth, the couple had wanted a child for years. Eventually they grew old and forgot about it. When Elisabeth became pregnant in her old age she hid herself in embarrassment for five months.
But yet within the darkness of that embarrassment God had hidden His mystery, a blessing and a promise. For Sarah it was her son, Isaac, her joy and laughter; for Elisabeth it was her son John, the greatest of all prophets and the forerunner of our Savior. As for myself, my embarrassment made draw closer to my God. I sought His strength and wisdom to work harder at my lessons and perform better at all my projects. As a result I won a place on the Dean’s List and graduated with honors. I also found God’s blessing in the darkness of my embarrassment – a successful nursing career.
I learnt that embarrassments could dampen my spirits and put me in a dark shell, moaning and groaning, “Poor, poor, me.” Or it could encourage me to put my best foot forward and fight the good fight. I could rejoice with King David and say:
“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall upon me,” even the night shall be light about me. (Psalm.139:9-10).”
It is amazing that all the darkness in the world cannot hide the light of a little candle. This then is the mystery of darkness – for all its frightening appearance it is powerless against the smallest shimmering ray of God’s light. And hence no amount of embarrassments should make me forget that I am the child of Him who has overcome the world.
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