Then, darkness sets in, and we await the deliverance from our sightless captivity until the sun rises once again.
This seems like a silly thing to do, especially with modern technology that dispels the darkness, but I think it signals something deeper within us. We know that times of darkness must come. We know we must walk through Lent. We know that night follows the day. But in each situation, we desire a totem of remembrance that fosters a beautiful hope that light will come, either with the rising of the sun or with the rising of the Son.
The Green Flash is something of a natural Mardi Gras. One taste of celebration prior to the ascetic devotions of Lent, knowing that the celebration will return in an even fuller meaning when Easter breaks the Lenten fast.
For our mission team, this week has been a fitting way to take hold of that promise of light's return because we see green flashes in the eyes of the people we work alongside each day. Big Felix's constant guidance, Little Felix's shy joy, and Paris's blessed smile give us reminders that our work comes not only with a purgation of sin, but with the (re)development of holistic relationships.
The people of St. Croix are teaching us that even in darkness, the Light has more power than we can see on our own. We need others to help contextualize our work, to recast the meaning of Lent, to encourage us along the journey, to mourn in the sorrows, and to celebrate the joys.
With all the clouds passing over the horizon in the evening, we have not yet seen the Green Flash, at least not at dusk. But in our Lenten journey, where we talk toward the Cross, the image of God comes at us as green beams of life through these people that God has placed in our lives. I pray that our conversation, our work, our presence - our friendship - shines the same testament of God's faithfulness into their hearts.
Even if I never see the Green Flash over the ocean, I am thankful I have seen the green flashes of God's children that remind me darkness never wins.