We had class in the dark and suddenly I wished we could do everything in the dark.

Vulnerable, safe, I almost fell asleep.

She read aloud to us, her children, her brood, gathered around her with pencils poised and eyelids fluttering. She read to us about a man who used to run, who felt the strength of God flow through his body, until he was hit by a car on the highway. The doctors amputated one leg and he lost all movement in the other despite months of physical therapy. He never ran again.

She finished the essay and we returned to reality with a rustling of notebook paper and the squeaking of classroom desks.

“What does this say about gratitude?”

We take these holy bodies for granted. We worship without thought until they shatter. We do not want them to shatter, but they do, and we must find a way to keep going, to climb the hill and look down into the valley.

It is there in the darkness that we are most willing and able to receive grace.

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