That's How the Light Gets In

A line from a Leonard Cohen song, Anthem, entered into our General Chapter that ended a couple of weeks ago. The refrain resonated among those gathered and was frequently repeated as we talked about our present and future together: “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Systems and institutions (including our Congregation and organizations in which I have worked), often appear rock-solid and immovable. There are things that seem to work fine, so why change? Systems like our criminal justice system, among others, are indisputably very broken. There are also individuals in every system who stand firmly and unyieldingly in rigidity and intolerance of differences. However, cracks show themselves and light gets in.

Imperfections inspire curiosity and imagination. Disruptions help us discover connections. Forces of divisiveness and abuse of power spark voices that advocate for justice and right-relationships.  Rays of hope shimmer from within the mess.  Reflections of wholeness also amazingly offer possibilities for something new to emerge. Can you hear it? See it?

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.”

Where are the cracks and the light showing up for you? How are you responding?

Tanya Williams, OP

St. Louis Park, MN


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