Are we better off than any other time of life?
Can there be darkness without light showing a glimmer of hope? Can there be complete light without any shade of darkness showing the edges of despair and suffering?
Back in 1956, a daytime drama TV “soap opera” began, loosely planned on the stories of Perry Mason. It never materialized as originally intended, but came out as a mid-town sized drama. I have faint memories of it – only by tune and occurrence, never by watching it.
“While most soap operas centered on extended families or large hospitals that tended to be insular in their scope, The Edge of Night was probably the only daytime serial to truly capture the dynamics of a medium-sized city. Indeed, the city of Monticello—for all of its longtime friendships, age-old family vendettas, and insidiously cutthroat District Attorneys and bad cops in the proverbial pockets of white-collar mobsters—was as vital a “character” as any human being depicted on the show.” [Wikipedia Source here]
In my young mind I cannot say that I understood daytime dramas unless it played out in the form of Roy Rogers, Tarzan, or Mighty Mouse. But those older than I felt the drama of the day and maybe they could even relate to the stories presented in these daytime dramas, including another popular one, “As The World Turns.”
I don’t know. It’s a struggle to identify where we are today. People are being hurt, maimed and killed during a time when things should be better. It’s almost as if we are living weighted too close to dark times, or even The Edge of Night.
Charles Dickens paralleled two cities living in seemingly opposing seasons of time, but critics will note that he was writing about Paris, but really talking about London. His story opens with this paragraph.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
This was in 1859! Tale of Two Cities documents the parallels of two nations, two cities, two events…but the parallels seemed to be huge! He resided in one and wrote about the other, and the parallel between subject and residence are exactly that…Parallel…
What seems obvious to me is that we are living in perilous, scary and fragile times. Perhaps there has never been a really good time as we are seemingly always On the Edge of Darkness. Two Cities. Two Nations. And we are all wrapped up inside of the same boundaries.
But it seems there are at least two totally separate zones. Maybe many more. If everyone matters, then could we not wrap up all the lives into one banner underneath the Flag of the UNITED States of America?
I love Solomon’s approach with this phrase.
… And his banner over me was love. (Song of Solomon 2:4 NKJV)
Love. I may not like you, but all through scripture I am commanded to Love. I may not be able to have proper sympathy, but I can better relate with empathy. I may not agree, or seemingly care in the same manner as you, but Love must be the banner I wave over each and every one of us. Why?
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 ESV)
If we would transfer all the rhetoric and the seemingly negative feelings into the attitude of Love, then I suspect we will move from the Edge of Darkness and into Full Light. Will the sin still be there? Yes. But we can work on the issues as long as we have Love one for Another. Just Like Jesus Commanded! (John 13:34-35, 15:12, 15:17)