A Crack in Everything

There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

There’s a story in the Bible about a man by the name of Jairus. Actually, I’m not sure if the story is more about Jairus or about Jairus’ daughter or about the Jews or about Jesus… it’s all rather complicated. The story begins when Jairus, the leader of a local synagogue, having heard about the ability of Jesus to heal, approaches Jesus and pleads, “‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’” And so, Jesus comes. By the time he arrives at Jairus’ house, however, the girl is dead. Jesus takes Jairus, Jairus’ wife, and a few of the disciples into the house, and with the simple words of “Talitha koum!” or “Little girl, get up!,” Jesus heals the girl.

We are given little clue as to Jairus’ response to the miracle. The Bible says only that, “they were astonished.” Other translations say that they were “beside themselves.” I believe that the Light of God found its way into a crack. You see, despite all Jairus had learned in his life, it was only when faced with the illness and death of his daughter, that is, when he was confronted with a crack in his life, that Jairus comes face to face with the love of God manifest in Jesus. That’s how it almost always happens. A crack develops and God shows up.

There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

That’s the message of the cross and it is central to our lives of faith. It’s funny though. We do everything in our power to ensure that no cracks develop. And even when cracks do develop, we try to deny them or ignore them or pretend as if they aren’t really there. We eat the right things, we exercise, we are faithful in our study and work, we learn how to be polite and function respectfully in society; we raise good kids; etc, etc. But somehow very little of that does much to help us understand the Light and love of God. It’s so often only when things go wrong that our eyes are opened and our hearts become receptive to the light of Christ. It is through the failures, the sadnesses, the sufferings, the brokenness that the light finds a way into the depths of our being.

There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should try to make cracks in the lives of others or in our own lives. I don’t think that God makes cracks in our lives. It’s just part of our human existence. But instead of denying the cracks, or being embarrassed by the cracks, or being overwhelmed by the cracks, we may learn to accept them and actually learn to look for the Light and Love of Christ that inevitably and invariably finds its way through the cracks.

This past year has been difficult. It has been full of sacrifice and loss and brokenness. In my life and in the lives of every single person I know, cracks have opened. It’s been hard. It is hard. But when you’re at your lowest, always remember that you are never alone. God is always by our side. Fear not the cracks in your life.

There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

~Father Art

One thought on “A Crack in Everything

  1. Leonard Cohen wrote that quote about the light.
    Ring the bells that still can ring.
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There’s a crack in everything.
    That’s how the light gets in.


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