The day the lights went out…

So, last week was our most eventful of this lockdown so far. On Thursday morning we awoke early (around 6am, as per usual) to find the vicarage cold and dark! We had a power cut! A quick call to 105 should quickly get it sorted, right? Ha ha. Nothing so simple! We made the call to be informed that nobody else had reported a fault and there would be somebody with us within the next three hours. A bit of detective work informed us that the church power was also off, but the parish hall, lower down in the grounds, had electric.

Our daughter quickly took herself off to her school to teach in a warmer, lighter place. Meanwhile, Mick and I lit candles and found torches. When engineers arrived it became apparent that our isolated church and vicarage were the only properties in the area with a power cut . In order to find the problem, they would need to dig, and dig, and dig. In fact they dug up the road behind the church, leading back to the vicarage for over twelve hours before discovering the damaged cable.

For the first half of the day, Mick and I relied upon candles and lit a fire in the grate in the lounge. At least one room was warm in our rather large Victorian house.

But it wasn’t the lack of heat that bothered me, although it was the coldest day of the year, it was being in the dark. Our vicarage is rather isolated and in a woodland. It is surrounded by very old and substantial trees and so natural light is at a premium, even in the winter, when the leaves are off the trees.

Wherever we have lived in our 40 year marriage, light has been so important to us, and it was a big deal to move into such a dark house 10 years ago. By necessity we live permanently in artificial light. And then came the day those lights went out! Being in the darkness was by far the hardest part for me.

I think we all need light in our lives, as we need hope. And for me the two go hand in hand. Things always seem so much better, don’t they, when you have light, physically and emotionally? A sunny day automatically lifts our mood. It fills our hearts with hope, even when the situation we are living in seems dark.

A sunny outlook can do the same.

Many years ago, in my days as a Primary School Headteacher, one of my staff gave me a homemade card. It simply said ‘When everything is grey, look for colour’. That, for me, could also be interpreted as ‘look for light’.

We are living in grey times, when we don’t know from week to week, or even day to day what we are going to have to cope with. In these grey times, we need to look for the colour, look for the light to lift us out of the gloom.

As Christians we believe that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, the light that fills our heart. He is the one in whom we put our trust. He is the one who fills us with hope. It is His light which we can rely upon to envelope us when everything around us feels dark.

By the way, the power was eventually restored to both church and vicarage at 2.30am on Friday morning, and I am currently sitting, happily, in the light!

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