There is a light which can be seen only at the end of a dark, and sometimes painful tunnel. It may have been there always, but is not visible without the contrast the tunnel provides. It is hope, which takes shape and true meaning only in the midst of sadness; it is love, which takes its most significant form and true purpose in the midst of loss; it is peace, which pulls us forward from a distance through turmoil and war. And it is birth and rebirth, which come as we and those who love us most go through the pains of physical and emotional suffering to deliver something new and perfect and wonderful.
I recently heard a mother who spoke of going through excruciating labor for 30 hours and how, while she had planned on an entirely natural birth, over the course of the labor had been given every medication and hooked up to every machine available. She recounted how she cried and screamed and thrashed about and then how, when her newborn child was placed in her lap she felt…peace. The tunnel of darkness and trial and sadness and suffering was gone, having become instead a foundation for the perfect light that is the face and form of a newborn child.
As I struggle with what has been a year of loss for not only my family but many of those I am close to and care about, I am reminded that this life is that tunnel. Each of us wades through the daily muck—through the loss of relationships, jobs, and even loved ones until suddenly—not in spite of, but because of the pain—we emerge reborn. All that we have suffered has taught us that we can be something more; something new, and perfect, and worth fighting for.
As a foundation for light, the tunnel serves as a gift, and the darkness is necessary to see the light that is present before us; and to watch it grow brighter and brighter until the Perfect Day.