For my literature class final we did a creative response to one of the many selections we read this semester, and this is what I wrote.
This world is full of pain, darkness, hopelessness, injustice, sickness, loneliness, and despair. We are broken, broken people. Our brokenness is present in the things we say and the things we do, the things we see and the things we hear, the things we read and the things we write.
Literature especially tends to focus on the darkness of humanity. Requiem by Anna Akhmatova is one such dark poem. Requiem is set in Russia during World War II, a time when terror and darkness reigned supreme. The Russian people suffered deeply. “That was when the ones who smiled were the dead, glad to be at rest. And like a useless appendage, Leningrad swung from its prisons. And when, senseless from torment, regiments of convicts marched, and the short songs of farewell were sung by locomotive whistles. The stars of death stood above us.” (Requiem) It appeared that darkness had won.
Although the oppressive reign of Stalin ended sixty years ago, darkness has not lost its grip on the world. I am reminded of the powers of darkness every single day. When I hear about the evil deeds of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, when I see the homeless huddled under bridges in below freezing temperatures, when I read blogs about the rampant sex trafficking business in Thailand, when I helplessly wait with my family while the child welfare system heaps injustice on two precious little girls, I remember. Darkness is alive and well. Every day people die of cancer, get in car crashes, try to take their own lives. It’s not hard to feel completely and utterly hopeless.
And yet, even amidst this oppressive darkness, there is a light. What started as a tiny speck has slowly crept across the earth and brought us hope. The movement is growing, it’s gaining momentum, The darkness will fight us, but it cannot win. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7) Oh come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.