In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.- John 1:4-5
Yesterday, we met one of the most insightful men living in the streets of Cracolândia. His name is Tin and has been a crack addict and homeless for many years. In fact, whenever there is a journalistic report on Cracolândia, his opinion is always quoted. Despite being down and out, Tin has a cheerful disposition and yet behind his cheerful demeanor lies a profound thinker. He told us once that the best way to describe Cracolândia was to think of it as a labyrinth. He explained that everyone who enters here loses themselves in this place and they don’t know how to get out. According to him, we are able to come here and leave because we have a cord attached to us that guides us back to the world outside. He went on to elaborate that everyone who entered here at one time had a cord attached to them to guide them back to the Light. However, the moment they lit up their first crack pipe, the cord was cut and they can no longer find their way home. One of the missionaries then said that since we have the cord attached to us still, perhaps we can help them to return home. Tin answered without any hesitation that those who live this labyrinth are used to the darkness and now they are afraid to follow people like us who can lead the way out because the light outside is too bright and painful for them to handle.
They have grown so accustomed to darkness that the Light is difficult for them to comprehend. The light becomes something frightful.
When I heard Tin’s insight, the words of the above gospel text became alive in a new way. I used to think that people rejected the Light because they hated the Light. The truth is that people are afraid of the Light. Perhaps they are afraid to see themselves in the Light. Tin has spent so much time in the darkness that he does not comprehend the goodness of being in the Light. He does not like the darkness. He is just afraid of the Light.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.- 1 John 4:18
The only way fear can be overcome is through Love. It is significant that Tin shared this insight with us. He thinks about his life. He is reaching out but he is afraid. Perhaps he wants to know if we are willing to guide him into the Light and help him overcome his fear of the Light. Our words alone do not suffice. Tin needs to see our love in action before he can trust us. Until then, we ask for your prayers. Continue to pray that the cord of Love that guides us to Cracolândia will be strong enough to guide people like Tin out into the gracious Light.