A Lamp in the Darkness

First things first – Dr. M (or should I just call him Linthead now?) had a wonderful post yesterday explaining why he shouldn’t have a blog. It’s a really good way to get to know him better, and to give you insight into why I say I’m the fluff to his depth. He’s a really cool person, if I do say so myself (having had very little influence into how he turned out, I take full credit). So go read it. Now. And then come back to read my not quite as fluffy as usual post.

Our diocese has a monthly publication with stories about the goings on in southern Ohio. This past month one of the members of my former church (hey Nancy!) had an article about an immigration reform rally that she attended. I know that immigration is a hot button for a lot of people, but this story*, told at the rally, sums up my feelings on the subject pretty well:

A rabbi put this question to his students: "How can we determine the hour of dawn. When the night ends and the day begins?”

"When from a distance you can distinguish between a dog and a sheep," suggested one. "When you can distinguish between a fig tree and a grapevine,” offered another.

"No," the rabbi said, "When you look into the face of a human being and have enough light to recognize that person as your brother or sister. Up until then it is night, and darkness is still with us."

If we aren’t able to recognize the person in front of us as a brother or sister, then we dwell in darkness. And I’m not just talking about the way we look at immigrants either. It feels like everyone around me is in an armed camp – me & mine versus you and yours. It’s ours, people. Really – we’re all on this earth together. Sitting in the dark, or holding out a lamp to the incoming stranger.

*Not having the Interchange with me when I wrote this post I looked the story up online. There are a lot of different versions, so I just picked one to use. However, I have since found the Interchange online. You can read the artcle on page 17 here.


  1. we are fractious. and we are all so much more alike than we are different. so why is it so hard?

  2. Better to light one candle than curse the darkness, so they say.

    Our differences may make us unique, but it's our similarities that make us part of the greater whole.

  3. Excellent post. (I finally figured out who Linthead is)

  4. Very nice post. Unfortunately so many are in the dark, but if we all continue to strive to light the light there is hope.

  5. It matters not our religous views, the shape of our face or the colour of our skin what matters is our similarities our commonalities our humanity - but we do insit on grasping onto the things that seperate us the things that make us "different". You would think wouldn't you that in the 21st C after all that we have seen, done experieinced as human beings we would have learnt - sadly it appears that Humanity is not a good student and stubbornly persists in making the same mistakes again and again.

  6. So true. A beautiful, pensive and peaceful post - the message at its heart is one I strongly agree with. We are one human race. We should love and not fight. But I fear humanity's has an inherent badness, I only hope more adopt pacifistic ideals.

  7. I hate the us vs. them stuff. That's why I went "pundit free" after the election.

    You are NOT fluff. You are every bit as cool as Linthead! so there!

  8. This is fabulous. So glad to read this wisdom.

  9. Pure and simple truth there...

  10. I really enjoyed your husband's list. Fun to hear him, since I work in a university department.

    Those quotes are beautiful. Up until then, the darkness is still with us . . .


  11. mmm...there is great wisdom in the story you share...we are al different flavors of the same soup..appreciated best together...

  12. Dear The Bug,
    What a lovely post. And a lovely story. All of this is certainly true. Even though I am discussing all these issues, it is the 'us' v. 'them' that I believe is a major obstruction to all the answers.

    I loved C.L.'s post. I hope my comment conveyed it. He covered a lot of ground.

    Anyway, thanks for a profound story! And a great insight.

    Ann T.

  13. Some days (most) I feel like we have not progressed much past segregation and women's voting rights. Same evils, different names.

    And you are cool!

    And I'm going to Dr M's right now!

  14. Oh wow. I wish had wondered over here sooner. The story says it all so well. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.


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