Shout to the Darkness

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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The story is told by Thomas Lane Butts about a television circus show that highlighted a Bengal tiger act. Like the rest of the show, it was done "live" before a large audience. One evening, the tiger trainer went into the cage with several tigers to do a routine performance. The door was locked behind him. The spotlights lit the cage, the television cameras moved in close, and the audience watched in suspense as the trainer skillfully put the tigers through their paces. To the dismay of the live audience and the millions watching by television, a terrifying thing happened. For thirty seconds, the lights illuminating the studio went out, a result of a blown circuit. In the darkness the tigers could see the trainer, but he could not see them. The trainer’s whip and small kitchen stool seemed meager protection under the circumstances, but he survived. In fact, when the lights came on, he calmly finished the performance.

In an interview afterward, he was asked how he felt through the chilling experience. He first admitted the fear of the situation, but pointed out that the tigers did not know that he could not see them. He said, "I just kept cracking my whip and talking to them until the lights came on. And they never knew I could not see them as well as they could see me."

Darkness for many of us is real and vivid. Its tentacles reach out to us and grasp. The grip of darkness is a choking reality. Life situations can enclose upon us and we feel like that trainer, fighting tigers in the dark. A million things peer through at us, inspecting us, waiting for us to fall. Our problems have us all figured out, yet we often have not even seen all of them. It is decisively unfair. It is undeniably part of life. The unknown is a journey that is fraught with despair. We grope and we crawl and we search for reason. Questions outnumber answers and the mind is a pool of doubt. Yet there is hope in God. Corrie Ten Boom, who hid in walls in a home from the Nazi murderers has this insight. "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." The workplace and our schools and our world are dark places -- there is so much uncertainty and confusion. But we have to act as if we are in the light, because we are. We have vision. We can see. When you are plunged into a dark room of tigers, what do you do? Leave a comment below.

From David Rupert, Red Letter Believers