There is a point when driving through the Lincoln Tunnel, well past the mosaic tiled state line divider that always amused me as a boy, where the bright fluorescent lights mounted to the ceiling give way to the grayish light gently streaming into view in the distance. It is exactly and not proverbially the light at the end of the tunnel. Even though the tunnel lights are somehow reassuring – bright, constant, warm – in contrast to the uncertainty of the “natural” light ahead, there is a real sense that the light ahead is just that – natural. Whether it be bright sunshine densely packing a deep blue sky powered by high pressure or faltering light struggling to find the room to breathe in a sky choked cold with winter’s thin and biting air; that light is still natural. Natural is always preferable to artifice. As I reflect on the sentences preceding this one I am struck by how forced and formulaic they are. My apologies.
The novena we’ve been praying, found here, is drawing to a close. The thing is that the light at the end of the tunnel is scary. I’m confident it will be natural but what will it look like? I have a vision in my mind of what I want it to look like but God painted that sky and it might be nothing like what I’m looking for. It might even be darkness dotted by even more man-made lights. And that can be pretty too. Many times I emerged from the Tunnel at night to be surrounded by high rise buildings lit up like Christmas trees. There’s a real beauty in that.
The point is that ultimately I’m still going to drive forward. We shall see what awaits us. Until the end, though, know that I am praying your light will be as impossibly marvelous as mine will be.