The warning came across my phone late at night: Dense fog advisory tonight through tomorrow morning. I look out my window to the dark night sky, a clear night showing no hint of haze.
I’m startled awake the next morning by my daughter Charlotte’s voice, “It’s really foggy outside, Mama.” We make our way to the window peering out to a blanket of fog, a cloud surrounding our home. There’s no hint of sun or warmth, only gray and clouds.
Later the kids and I pile into the car where my lights automatically turn on. Charlotte chimes in again, “It’s really foggy today.” I can’t see the tops of trees or more than a few feet in front of me. We drive slowly from our neighborhood and as we turn on the highway, it’s as if we’re floating through the clouds.
The fog, clouds, and the dark day is fitting for this time of year where I live. On the days when the sun shines we rejoice. Spring and warmth seem like an impossible reality. It’s hard to see very far in front of the car so I go slowly, following the lights of cars ahead of me. I’ve driven this road too many times to count, I know where the turns come and where our friend’s cows hang out by the water. The kids point to the road that takes us to speech and our friend’s houses. We’ve come this way before so we keep going forward.
Some days we may feel like our faith is covered by clouds. We don’t know which way is up and where to go. A broken relationship weighs heavy on our hearts. We feel dark and lonely. We don’t believe we can take one step forward. We can’t offer forgiveness. An addiction has taken hold. We’re afraid we’ve lost our way. God feels distant and silent. We only see the darkness and can’t imagine when the light will return.
For some, the dark seasons last for weeks or months, and for others, they come and go.
Yet, something compels us to keep moving forward; to going slowly trusting that the way will appear ahead of us. Perhaps it’s a hint of light breaking through the clouds, or a kind word from a friend. Other times it’s a presence felt in moments of silence. For some it’s the congregation singing a familiar hymn together or friends offering prayers on our behalf. Maybe it’s hot soup shared with neighbors or an unexpected phone call. Or one night it’s reading scripture and landing on the words that speak directly to you.
Tiny streams of light break through the fog and the darkness over and over.
Wherever you are today, however you’re feeling, keep looking towards the light. It’s there shining for you.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website or follow her work on Facebook.