The Light in the Tent

This morning during my monthly spiritual direction appointment I got weepy. This is not unusual; I often weep during spiritual direction. There's something about wading into the deep waters that sets off my own waterworks.

What was unusual was this: I was describing a photograph I'd seen on Instagram.

A photo posted by linforddetweiler (@linforddetweiler) on

I couldn't make out what it was at first. The sky and the trees are clear enough, but what were those bright spots of light along the dark third of the photograph? It almost looked like a church, with the arched openings.

It's the great big white tent under which Over the Rhine will play at the Nowhere Else Festival this weekend. I know this great big white tent. A year ago, when the four of us traveled to southern Ohio for their Barn Raising concert, we started out in the tent until the open space just behind it called to the squirmy girls.

It was one of the loveliest weekends we've ever had. The worst thing that happened was that Juliette spilled her ice cream.

But none of that was really what made me cry. Or maybe it was.

I just know this: I am susceptible to profound anxiety. I am given to great fear.

I am terrified of the dark.

Not the absence of light. The presence of loss; the weight of grief; the specter of certain tragedies that would most certainly drag me under.

But this picture testifies to the persistence of light. It cannot be hidden. It cannot be obscured. It cannot be overcome.

Not even by the darkness.

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