Let there be light

Blog Published: March 6, 2024
By Sister Beatrice Kamau
small candle burning in open hand
Beatrice Kamau is a Kenyan from the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Anne and is a regional superior for its Kenya delegation. She is a trained catechist, formator and a counselor. She has served as novices' formator and occasionally presents workshops to congregational leaders in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania for the program Professional Development of Congregational Leaders, or PDCL. She also does part-time counseling.

"A people who walked in the darkness have seen a great light."

When we were young, we were so afraid of darkness. There was no electricity in the countryside, and darkness could be so scary. We could not appreciate gazing at the stars. Away from home, the sight of twilight was not romantic, for we were afraid of nightfall, full of terror and wildness. We always needed someone to accompany us, even going to bed, if possible, to wait until we could fall asleep, just to wake up to another new day.

Darkness can be terrifying, and right from the beginning, God wanted to dispel darkness so that all can be, so that we can be. "God said, let there be light, and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness" (Genesis 1:3-4). In darkness we lose vision, we are never sure of the next step, and it is risky to trudge in the dark. We are children of light; we have seen this great light in our midst, manifest in the birth of Christ, the true light.

We have just begun the new year, few days after well-lit Christmas festivities. However, something leaves me pondering when I reflect on our social realities as a people. Despite about 85% of the Kenyan population identifying as Christian, an enormous disparity unfolds before us — wanton corruption, inequality, tribalism, child labor and abuse. We are haunted by insecurity, children and women languishing in poverty, victims of violence, the lack of minimum or no social amenities, and medical coverage.

The environment is being destroyed, there is a high cost of living, and unemployment continues to create an abyss between the haves and the have-nots. How do we reconcile these realities as Christians, as children of light?  Are we part of those who have seen a great light? What is our role as children of light amid these situations of darkness, despair and fear?

I pray and desire that God may open our hearts to let in Jesus, the true light, so that he can illumine these realities of darkness which continue to persist in our society. May he heal our blindness, indifference, hatred and division so that peace may be restored in the world. As St. Paul calls us, "The night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12).

Let us embrace the gift of the Emmanuel, God-is-with-us, who has taken up our human nature and born in our human circumstances so that all may be renewed. Let us not lose hope, for he never abandons anyone who desires and seeks him with a sincere heart.

We’re delighted to share with you this blog from the monthly feature “The Life” courtesy of our friends at Global Sisters Report. This month, The Life panelists reflected on the question: What darkness do you long for God's light to fill in the coming year? CLICK HERE  to read more blogs from The Life series, GSR’s monthly feature about the unique, challenging, and very specific lives of women religious around the world.

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