Some of the best things I read keep calling me back to them so that I can discover more than I saw the first time. Such is the case with Barbara Brown Taylor’s article in the Christian Century (April 2, 2014) entitled “Light without sight.” She shares thoughts about light in darkness that she gleaned in reading And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran.
When Lusseyran, a French resistance fighter who was captured by the Nazis was shipped to Buchenwald, "he learned how hate worked against him, not only darkening his world but making it smaller as well. When he let himself become consumed with anger he started running into things, slamming into walls and tripping over furniture.”
Hate blinds us even when we can’t see. It disorients us and keeps us from knowing where we are in relationship to other things in our world. Hate crimes are crimes committed because people are blind to the fullness of life in another. They are crimes committed because they can only see what threatens them about the other, not the full humanity of the other.
But, when Lusseyran “called himself back to attention, . . . the space both inside and outside of him opened up so that he found his way and moved with ease again.The most valuable thing he learned was that no one could turn out the light inside him without his consent.”
When we hate another, when we allow our anger to shrink our world and we lose sight of the fullness of the other, the light goes out within. So, we have to remember that we have control over that inner light. It will not go out if we allow love of another to overcome our hate. If we pay attention to the fullness of life that exists in the other, then light will guide us in our relationship with them.