From Darkness to Light: A Personal Story
For over seven years, during the late sixties and early seventies, I worked in two coalmines in the north of England and then in Scotland. Down the pit in the bowels of the earth, there was a strange atmosphere all of its own. It was so dark and black that if you turned your lamp off you could place your hand in front of your face and not see a thing. I often worked in the places where there were no lights at all except for the lamp clipped to my helmet. On one occasion, I was walking out-by after repairing a pump I had worked with when the bulb in my lamp began to flicker and after about thirty seconds it went out completely. I remained in total darkness. The only redeeming aspect was that I was walking between the rails of train tracks that lead to the shaft and the cage that would take me up to the surface. I had walked that road many times before so I decided to continue the journey in total darkness. I estimated that I had about a mile to travel to the shaft and the only source of light from where I was to begin my darkest journey. Setting out, I kept one foot next to the left rail and tentatively measure my stride so that I walked on the sleepers that were about three feet apart. I fell several of times when missed the sleeper or caught the edge of the rail. Fortunately, on both occasions, I fell forward and was able to get up pointing in the right direction. The road twisted and turned, but the rail track enabled me to move forward in the right direction in the midst of the absolute darkness that surrounded me. It took me about an hour to walk what would have normally been a twenty minutes walk carrying my tool-bag and rucksack. It wasn’t until I reach the final bend that I slowly began to see what I perceived to be a vague shadow. As I moved forward the shadow began to turn into a pinprick of light and eventually I could see a bright light in the distance. At that point, my pace speeded up and I eagerly marched towards the light. As I got close the light seemed to grow and become like the lights of a football stadium in comparison to the absolute darkness I had encountered on my journey since my lamp had gone out. Yet that was nothing compared to the sunshine that I experience upon arriving at the pithead and the full light of day. It felt that I was experiencing light in all its fullness and glory for the first time.
The above story is very similar to my experience of coming to faith. Over six or seven months, I heard to gospel in a little Baptist church in the North of England for most of that six months or so I was in darkness yet had begun moving toward the light. Then, I arrived at the point of my journey where I began to see the vague shadow of the gospel and then a small pinprick of light and all of a sudden I was marching towards the light. Yet, it wasn’t until I came to faith and committed my life to Christ that the full sunshine of the gospel broke through, it was like the lights had been switched on and for the first time I saw myself and the world in a totally different light and I enter into the new paradigm of the kingdom of God.