“I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches
hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I,
the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.” Isaiah 45:3
There are moments that feel like bleak darkness in this time of pandemic. If I spend too much time reading the news, gloom threatens. When I hear of friends or cousins who have contracted COVID-19, murkiness increases. When I talk with health care professionals and see the stress on their faces or hear it in their voices, clouds gather. Circumstances nearly every day take me to the valley of shadows.
In that valley, in those times when shadows loom, God gives us the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places. This time of sheltering at home can offer us a training ground for learning to see those treasures.
After six weeks at home, some of us are going a bit stir crazy. Some of us are longing for stimulation beyond the four walls of our houses. If your house is anything like mine, though, it is full of treasures. Some of them are literally in darkness, hidden away in closets and basements and attics. Some are hidden in plain view because, even though they are right there, we just don’t notice them anymore. We can train ourselves to see God’s treasures in darkness by seeing the treasures right before our eyes in our own homes.
A way to do it is to choose one item in your home before each meal. It might be something you haven’t seen in a while, even if it’s always visible. Or you might go to one of those dark corners and take out something that has been hidden away for some time. During the meal, tell the story of how it came to be in your home, of the people and places you remember when you see it, and of why you’ve kept it all these years. The real treasures are often not the things themselves, but the relationships and experiences that they help us recall.
By training our eyes and hearts and minds to notice the treasures in our homes, maybe we can begin to see the deeper wonders that God provides even in the shadows, even in the darkness. Because God is at work in the darkness showing us light, leading us to hope, and blessing us with unexpected wonders.