• Debbie Salter Goodwin

When Darkness Covers


Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep,

and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Gen. 1: 2-3


Dark places scare me. Dark hides what I fear might be waiting to harm me.


Like the time when my sister and I watched the late movie on Friday nights after our parents went to bed. Half-way through the movie it was ice cream time. However, to get the ice cream we had to go down the dim lit basement steps and through the dark garage to the other side where the chest freezer sat. Neither of us wanted to be the one to conquer our fear and get the ice cream so it always included the back and forth—

“You go!”

“No, you go!”

“No, you!”

Eventually, one of us wanted the ice cream more than we wanted the argument.


There was darkness at the beginning of creation, too. But it was a different darkness. It was darkness without evil. It was darkness waiting to be formed. God hovered over this darkness. Then, in one burst of creative power, God introduced light so that darkness could no longer rule.

For me it is a good reminder that where there is darkness, God hovers. Hovering is His specific attention to the darkness and what it produces. It is His waiting for the right time to bring His light.


Light was God’s first gift to creation. Light gave definition. Light developed vision. God never wanted creation to be hidden in the dark because a world without light would have no song and no beauty.


It is easy to see the darkness in our world today. Is it as easy to understand God’s hovering? To treat His hovering as disinterest does not represent the heart of faith. Instead we use this Advent time of waiting to connect us to His hovering. The darkness will not win because in God’s story, He always brings Light.


That’s the story we celebrate in this season. It’s the story of a re-start of our world turned inward. It’s the story of how God spoke His good Word again. This time the Word had skin and a heartbeat. This Word brought Light. However, this Light came to reveal what was inside our hearts.

We need this Jesus-Light to reveal the why of every action and attitude we try to hide or ignore. This Light doesn’t shame or lecture or reprimand. This Light loves so deeply that there is no difference between God’s Love and His Light.


When we let Jesus be our Light, our Truth, our Way; we join heaven’s joy and creation’s harmony. We not only let Heaven and nature sing, we join the choir!


Where could this Light take us on our darkest days? Where could this Truth protect us from going the wrong way? The message of Advent is that even while God is hovering over the darkness in our world today, He has already shared enough Light so that we can live without letting the darkness take us hostage.


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