Bargell: Shed some light in our darkest hours
Ryan Summerlin March 27, 2013
I’ve often wondered if it truly is darkest before the dawn. Fortunately, answering the question did not require waking at the crack of dawn to acquire empirical measurements of first light. Instead, there is Wikipedia.
While the coldest hour might be just before dawn, according to Wiki, the darkest hour actually comes at midnight “local sidereal time,” that instant when your location on the earth is exactly opposite of the sun. Calculating the exact time is possible by working through a rather elaborate formula that I would be sure to incorrectly explain here. The proverb, used metaphorically as a reference to the lowest ebb in life, has its origin in the 16th century when English theologian Thomas Fuller first used the phrase to symbolize a place of profound pain from which we can emerge.
The curious connections between the tragic deaths of Colorado’s former corrections director, a Domino’s pizza delivery man and young man hell-bent on destruction have garnered the macabre attention of national media. At its core, it is a story that is heartbreaking in unthinkable sadness.
It could be I am one of the few people in the state that does not personally know the individuals involved. But because our governor does, he was able to comment on the emotional state of the purported killer’s father who was literally “devastated.”
I can’t even imagine. Only a decade or so ago this was a man with two kids, one boy and one girl. His daughter died in a car accident, and while I know nothing of the details, I don’t need to in order to recognize how difficult it would be for life to go on. Her brother, apparently already struggling with issues of his own, was affected by her death that possibly triggered a downward spiral that ended in newspaper headlines.
The entire tale makes me want to cry – for the victims, and for the dad. Maybe he was a great dad, maybe not. Either way, it’s a reminder that circumstances so far outside of the realm of imagination sometimes just happen – to people all around us, every day.
It’s Holy Week for faith communities that celebrate Easter around the world, an entire week leading up to the pageantry of Easter. Last year, Maundy Thursday captured my attention. This year, it’s Good Friday. Soon, I hope, I’ll move on to focus on the day filled with eggs and toddlers sporting full-on pastel. Maybe next year.
I’ll gladly defer to Biblical scholars far more able to opine the specific events of that long ago day. What I do know is historically real people suffered unimaginable horror when sentenced to the biblical death penalty, languishing on a cross. Death accompanied by public scorn and humiliation, agony beyond bearing.
This week’s top news story reveals we don’t have to look far to find similar tales of agony and grief. And sometimes, it is OK to step into the pain. Christians do so on Good Friday. It’s somber. It should be.
For those celebrating Easter, the darkest hours of Good Friday are followed, three days later by the hope that accompanies the resurrection story. Light shed on darkness – the legacy of Easter. For all who are in the midst of the darkest hour, including those touched by our local tragedy, my Easter prayer is that dawn is not just a metaphor, but a genuine place of peace soon to come.
Cindy Bargell is an attorney and a mom that lives outside of Silverthorne with her husband and two daughters. She welcomes your comments at Cindy@ visanibargell.com.