Then Jesus told them: You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.
Many older people when stressed with illness, while hospitalized or disrupted from their routine, will become disoriented, even confused in the evening, unable to sleep, or be at ease. It is referred to as “sundowning” by the care providers who must try to keep an older patient safe, calm and oriented to time and place. It isn’t at all clear what is happening in the brain as the sun goes down, but over the years of watching this happen in my patients, I think it is a very primal fear response to loss of light. We don’t know where we are in the dark and feel lost. We don’t know what is out there that may hurt us.
Jesus knew the dangers of the night, both as God and as man. As the Light of the World, soon to hang from the cross as the sky blackened and the sun was covered over, His illumination will dim and die. At that moment, man is plunged into darkness like none ever known before. This is extreme “sundowning” where all hope is lost, and we can so easily lose our way.
Yet if we stay rooted to the spot, and not leave the cross, we may find comfort in our troubled state, and can put down our heavy burden and rest. We can celebrate the arrival of brilliant light in our lives. Instead of darkness overcoming us, our lives are covered in the glory and grace of Resurrection Day.
The Son settled among us. Darkness can no longer overtake us, even at death. The Light will illuminate the path we are meant to take.
“No matter how deep our darkness, He is deeper still.” Corrie ten Boom in The Hiding Place