Light and Shadow


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about God as Light, in whom there is no darkness at all. I’ve also been thinking about the darkness that pervades so much of the news these days, and the lives of so many of my friends.

It can be easy to dwell in the shadows of climate change, senseless violence, the mocking of abuse victims, the threat of evictions, and a host of other dark things happening in our world.

AND it is possible to step into the brightness of the good things; to allow our eyes to be dazzled by Light. To do so is not to be in denial about the darkness, but to acknowledge that shadow and light both exist, and that we don’t need to be overcome by the dark.

In this spirit, I’d like to share a couple of stories from The Dale this week:

  • Our trip up to camp was lovely. The weather wasn’t great, but we had a fire blazing in the lodge all weekend, played lots of games, ate good food, and experienced a true retreat. While some of our folks had a difficult time transitioning back to the city and its stressors, the time that was spent up north was good for all of our souls.
  • During our Monday drop-in, a friend came in to tell us that he’d had a beautiful dream in which three of our deceased dear ones were happy, relaxed, and cheering for him. He attributes their applause to the steps toward health he’s been taking recently. He was so encouraged by this dream, and so were we.
  • During the same drop-in, another friend came by (after a long absence) to let us know that she’s doing well. She is still experiencing homelessness, but has also been taking steps toward health and wholeness, has a supportive partner, and is hopeful that they will be able to find permanent housing outside Toronto soon. While we would miss her, this would be a good thing for her mental and physical health. So we’re thrilled.

I’ve realized recently that all of my favourite paintings at the Art Gallery of Ontario make dramatic use of light and shadow; they mirror the reality of our shared, beautiful, painful world.

Life is hard. And often dark. And lets not forget: there is Light.

Copyright: The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario

About joannacatherinemoon

I am the Lead Community Worker at The Dale Ministries in Parkdale, Toronto, ON. The Dale seeks to create safe welcoming spaces in which all people, particularly those on the margins, are encouraged to participate fully, to the best of their abilities and journey together toward a deeper experience of the life God has given us. This blog is meant to help keep my supporters connected with life at The Dale.

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