Out of Darkness, Light | A Christmas Poem

Special Stars by James Wheeler| CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Special Stars by James Wheeler| CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being told how to do Christmas better, how to get it right, how to rethink it or turn it upside down or make it count or What. Ever. Not that that those aren’t worthy endeavors, but rather at this point, I just want to enjoy Christmas for what it is. And when it came to writing a Christmas post, I was practically gagging on my own words. That’s when I know it’s bad – when I can’t even stand to listen to myself. So I gave up and wrote a poem. No commentary. No lectures. No exhortation. No opinions. No judgments. No assertions.

Just a poem. A painting, if you will, of words. Merry Christmas.



Out of Darkness, Light

We walk in darkness
Stumbling, feet slipping
Grasping for something, anything to keep from falling

We scrape our hands on broken branches
Our knees on stony paths
In trying to save ourselves, we are wounded

We wander in the murky black
Colliding, skin finds skin
For a moment, we are not alone

Together, we falter
Bones cracking into bones, heels crushing toes
In trying to save each other, we bruise, we bleed

Without light, shadows hide
Darkness beneath darkness
Sheets of black satin, sliding layer over layer in silence

Like crude oil,
It clings to our arms and legs, our faces, our hair
Slick, caustic, burning eyes and lungs

Retching, sick, lost, we keep falling
But we can’t tell how far, how fast
Until the light comes

And then we see

Though we can’t comprehend
The grey, the shapes emerging
Speak to us with a foreign tongue

 Winter 2009 A Dark Path by burzinski| CC BY 3.0
Winter 2009 A Dark Path by burzinski | CC BY 3.0








We blink, our eyes adjusting
To rocks, cliffs, downed branches, the roots of trees
Things that made us stumble

We see the ones we tried to save
Who tried to save us
Caked in muck and mire, weak, weary

Eyes finding eyes for the first time
We stare long and hard into deep wordless wells
That both listen and speak

In them
We see ourselves
And weep

Our shame and sorrow
Cut deep, salty trenches through the filth on our faces
We are exposed

Naked in the light, we see the darkness
As it scurries into corners, under rocks
Seeking a place to hide

We think of hiding too
But light demands that
Shadows show themselves

Illuminate the Dark Room by bavometh | CC BY-NC 3.0
Illuminate the Dark Room by bavometh | CC BY-NC 3.0








And this light that keeps coming
Wraps us in gold, bright and warm
Glistening, sparkling, almost singing, calling out color and life

The dirt and grime dries, cracks, crumbles
In a pool of cool, clear water
Tender, raw skin is soothed

We sprawl across the grass
Drying damp bodies
Letting the light seep into, soak into our very bones

Illuminating the deepest parts, the smallest places
And all the spaces in between
The light colors us in

And we rise
Children of the Light
No longer afraid to move, to breathe, to be

In the dark
We knew only darkness
Now, even shadows prove the light

Stars Above Haleakala, Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI by thedaintyheart | CC BY 2.0
Stars Above Haleakala, Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI by thedaintyheart | CC BY 2.0








And we radiate, shining like stars
Throwing color like scattered diamonds
Swirls of glittering dust

Light shined into the blackest night, creating
Out of darkness

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9:2

Cloud in the Sunlight by Ibrahim Iujaz | CC BY 2.0
Cloud in the Sunlight by Ibrahim Iujaz | CC BY 2.0








2 responses to “Out of Darkness, Light | A Christmas Poem”

  1. I love how I can FEEL what you’re describing Nichole…the weight and fear of the dark. I was just meditating on Hebrews 1 and how Jesus is said to be the “radiance of God’s glory!” Holy light, penetrating light. Nothing can hide…like how you said, “even shadows prove the light.” Yet though it is holy, it is a calming, peaceful light. Beautiful imagery…thanks Nichole!

    1. Thanks Andre! Your sermon on Sunday helped to inspire me 🙂

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