We’ve all had that experience. You’ve gone to the movies in the middle of the day. After sitting in the darkened theater for a few hours – you open the door and step into the parking lot. Immediately, you are blinded. It is so painfully bright outside that it takes you a few minutes to adjust to the daylight. Did the sun get brighter while you were in the theater watching your movie? Of course not. But the darkness that you spent the last few hours in caused you to see the sun in a way that you have never seen it before. In the normal course of your day – daylight is just that. It’s nothing special. In fact, you take it for granted. But when you’ve been in the dark for hours – stepping into the sun is entirely overwhelming to your senses.
As I type this, I know that Jahar is in a place of incredible darkness in his life…..not physical darkness, but spiritual/emotional darkness. As he lives out the reality of solitary confinement, as he deals with the extreme isolation brought on by the Special Administrative Measures placed on him, as he faces the possibility of the death penalty…….I imagine that he very likely feels lonely, unloved, depressed, and utterly hopeless. Does he deserve to experience darkness if he truly did what he is accused of doing? Of course. Does he deserve that level of darkness? My personal belief is that no human being does. But that’s okay, because my other personal belief is that God can use this period of darkness in Jahar’s life to shine His light bright enough for Jahar to notice it, perhaps for the first time.
God’s word is full of stories and verses of Him shining His light into the darkness.
“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5)
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.” (Isaiah 9:2)
“He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness; he brings light to the deepest gloom.” (Job 12:22)
“You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.” (Psalms 18:28)
If none of this had happened and Jesus appeared to Jahar or called out to him as he went about his everyday life – would he have noticed? Maybe not. If he appears to him or calls his name as he lies in the darkness – utterly bored and alone – will he notice? The chances are much greater. Just like the sun while you are watching a movie inside the theater – is the Son getting brighter and more glorious as Jahar sits in darkness? Of course not…..He has been that way all along. But it is my fervent prayer that the darkness Jahar is spending his days engulfed in causes him to see the Son in a way that he never would have otherwise…..that he would be absolutely blinded by the love of his Savior as he steps out of the darkness and into the light.