In today’s entry, Rev. Thurman describes the concept of a “glad surprise”, not the surprises that are shocking startling, frightening or bewildering but the surprise that carries an element of “elation, of life, or something over and beyond the surprise itself.”
For example, when the bank says you have more money in your account that you thought you had (and they’re right). My own version of this would be when my computer suddenly shuts off and I think I’ve accidently deleted a whole document I’ve worked on for hours. Yet, it pops up on the next opening as an ‘improperly closed’ file and asks me if I want to restore it. Yes!!!
Thurman suggests that these glad surprises demonstrate a deeper sense of hope. His examples include the coming of spring after winter that has closed most of nature below ground with no signs of life. Where almost overnight swelling buds, delicate blooms, bugs, etc. reveal a newness everywhere. That is a glad surprise. Likewise, after a time of trial or tragedy we find ourselves looking up from the darkness of those days into the light. The darkness can not swallow the light.
The Gospel of John 1:5 tells it this way: This is the message we have heard from him (Jesus) and proclaim to you, that God is light and in that Light there is no darkness at all.
I worry about my friends who suffer with mental illness of depression and bi-polarity because the sense of light and darkness in their days is pervasive and serious. I pray that deep below in the dark days they experience that they are able to see a beacon of light, no matter how small. I hope they can focus on the small pinpoint of light that says “depression lies”, the one that screams from a thousand light years away, barely audible, but there to be heard just the same: “I’ve got you, hang on.” I pray that they are able to lift out of their darkness to find that smile of the glad surprise crack open their lips when they resurface. May there be breath that fills their lungs and hope that fills their eyes once more. So be it.