“God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1: 5)
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the
darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (John 1:4, 5)
In the beginning of the first chapter of Genesis, we read that the earth was formless and empty and darkness was over the surface of the deep and God gave it light and filled it with life. Note that God firstly gave it light, then secondly He filled it with life and not the other way round. In other words He, did not create life on earth before He filled it with the essence of Himself! Isn’t it fantastic to know that life truly cannot first exist on earth without God’s presence and being? Life came because of God’s light! And when He created man to His image, a human life became a true representation of this life-light of God! Thus, light and not darkness is in the very nature of man. In addition, because of God’s light, man has been given charge over all of God’s secondary creation.
Darkness came later into the nature of man only after we fell into temptation and sin. We have misused this gift of choice that God has given to us. We have turned around and rejected the light of God and chose the darkness of the devil. Yet, despite the contamination of sin and darkness into our lives, we continue to have a natural inclination of wanting to come back to the saving light of God. It is naturally inborn in every one of us to love light and seek for its shine although we are prone of falling into sin again and again.
All children have a natural repulsion for the dark. I recalled my hometown was nearby a few kampongs. When I was taken for a long walk to my grandma’s house near the fringe of the kampongs in the evening, I was always weary of the dark. I would stick close to my mum and keep my eyes to the path before us, as we walked. I would be scared of the intermittent croaks of the toads and the loud choruses of cicadas whilst I dodged the big shadows of the trees alongside the gloomy roads leading to grandma’s house. When I hear the distant yelps of the village dogs, I was much relieved to know that we do not have too far to walk.
Why are we scared of the dark? We never learn this fear from our parents and it seems to be inborn in all of us. A sudden breakdown of electricity in our house causes us to panic and to huddle together until the candles are taken out and lighted! A favorite game we played as children is hide-and-seek. Our popular hiding places are behind dark corners of houses or inside an old derelict bus left in the backyard. I had an old trick that I frequently used without fail, to make those hiding from me to quickly reveal their places. All I need to do is to shout out a bluff that ghosts and ‘pontianaks’ (vampires) are lurking behind them and that will bring them scurrying out!
We are scared of dark places and we assume that ghosts and evil spirits linger in the dark, invisible to us, and they are waiting for the right moment to pounce at us! Being very much exposed to the presentation of evil spirits on TV, we believed that they have vague and bodiless forms seen inside their loose white cloak. They flee at the first presence of light because they exist in another realm of total darkness. In the many shows about vampires, we have seen that Dracula starts moving about only at dead of night but lies motionless, sheltered by the darkness in his draped coffin during the day! The devilish Morlocks in a film show of the 70’s called “The Time Machine” truly terrified me. These humanoid monsters live in dark subterranean caverns where they imprisoned a community of human slaves. Rod Taylor, the hero who travelled into the future in his Time Machine to rescue these prisoners, will continuously escape from the perilous pursue of the Morlocks when he reaches the top and emerges into the bright sunshine!
So why are we naturally scared of the dark? Is it mainly because we have always live in the light? Do we fear the dark because it is not natural for human beings to be in darkness? When our answers to all these questions imply that this fear has always been inborn in all of us, we are only partially correct. This is because we have partly not included the original intention of God in the creation of man and that is “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). When we are inherently scared of the dark, this can also be interpreted that darkness is unnatural to all our beings. We, who are created because of the will of God, are naturally born the children of light!
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Written by Stewart Chew