What is it Like to Hold Space for Both Light and Dark?

Faith Grace

This is a reflection of Genesis 1:4 in continuation with last week’s post.

I am wildly curious about what light and dark looked like before they were separated in Genesis 1:4. This is a quick (and incredibly simple) reflection on how I approached this idea.

Have you ever felt guilty for being angry?

I grew up thinking good Christians didn’t let anger overtake them. My greatest fear was making Christ look like a liar. I thought He made people good. And because I couldn’t be, I would be the reason God didn’t keep His word.

Insert a few years. Insert a bit (okay, a lot) of spiritual rebellion and a huge “come to Jesus” moment. God is not a liar and I don’t have the power to make that so. Can I get an amen!? I still get angry with passion. These days I feel I’m a little more mature about holding space for both anger and joy. There are moments I wonder if God wants to throw me overboard because I’m not a good Peter.

What does it look like to hold space for both light and dark within ourselves?

Let’s take a look at Genesis.

“God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness” (CSB, Genesis 1:4)

Let’s dig a little further into that. If God separated light and dark it means at one point they held space together until God saw that the light was good and he separated it from darkness.

During the separation, He didn’t cast out darkness. He extracted the light. One cannot exist without the other. Light is called good. Darkness has no adjective and, in the grand scheme of things, we put more weight on the one without the adjective. Imagine life if we truly held light in higher esteem.

God made a unique space where both light and dark exist not one without the other but in beautiful moderation. Harmony and humility meet where we hold the idea of light and dark existing as one.

I’m not defending sin. What I am doing is I’m noticing something within me that feels guilt and shame for feeling anything other than joy. I aim to seek the grace in that. There are instances where my anger is aroused: politics, environment, humanities, religion. Yet for each, there is a call to action and a call to humility. Where they meet is where I see myself reflected in Genesis 1:4.

I can’t understand the Bible and Jesus if I don’t first understand myself. And vice versa. Our lived experiences show how each of us approaches the text. I am not a Biblical scholar. I’ve said time and again, I’m not a preacher, nor am I a preacher’s wife, or a preacher’s daughter. I’m a congregant sharing the pew with you.

I pray you find balance and harmony when holding space for both light and dark. Give yourself the grace to embrace how you were made – fearfully and wonderfully.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment below.

Cover photo credit: Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash