The Darkest Day


It’s always darkest before the dawn,
at least, that’s what they tell me—
“Each new day brings resurrection.”

But to get there,
we must always move
through the dark.

There are gifts to be found in darkness.
That, too, is true:
Rest, coolness, quiet.

But terrors hide out in its
creases and folds,
ever ready to worry and wound.

And darkness
in the middle of the day
is disquieting,

On this day, the disquiet was deep;
terrible, in truth.
Creation cried out in disbelief.
How can this be?
The Word who spoke this sun,
disgraced, rejected,
impaled outside the city gates?

Ah, yes. Yes, indeed.

God’s enormous YES to
humankind’s repeated no’s.

And so, from the darkness of the garden
to the darkness at midday,
that Word walked right through
the worry and the wounds,
endured the terror,
bore the pain.

All for Love’s sake
All for Love’s sake.

Not to even the score,
not to satisfy the whims
of a harsh, mercurial deity,
with a gigantic ax to grind,
not to play some kind of
cosmic game of tit for tat.

This darkest day was
the necessary prelude
to the brightest dawn
this old earth has ever seen.

This darkest day and
that brightest dawn
are two halves of the same
magnificent truth:

we are loved;
we are free;
we are God’s.

The question is—
do we believe it?
And if we believe it,
can we live it?

Will we enter our own
dark seasons
with trust and hope,
steadily looking for the
dawn, that Light of Lights?

Will we whisper our own ‘yes’
right down into the darkness,
fully expecting to see
the shining glory
of that early morning Son?


Diana Trautwein
Married to her college sweetheart for over 50 years, Diana is always wondering about things. She answers to Mom from their three adult kids and spouses and to Nana from their 8 grandkids, spread over a 19 year age range. For 17 years, after a mid-life call to ministry, she answered to Pastor Diana in two churches where she served as Associate Pastor. Since retiring at the end of 2010, she spends her time working as a spiritual director and writes on her blog, Just Wondering. For as long as she can remember, Jesus has been central to her story and the church an extension of her family. Not that either church or family is exactly perfect . . . but then, that’s what makes life interesting, right?
Diana Trautwein

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