Out of the darkness

Published 10:31 pm Friday, March 30, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

It is…

The space between the origin and the goal.


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Observances of the continuous sequence from start to finish.

History documented from the tales of ancestors and today’s headlines.

The narrative between long, long ago and the end.

Life’s growth from a seed to the fruit-bearing seed.

The journey from the start of anything until it becomes something, someone or somehow can be summed up in one word — development. We are watching for it in everything.

Did you ever stop to think how many developments are actually hidden from view? Nearly every seed germinates in the dark. You, even you, are the result of a start in the dark.

I watched a new mother care for her 1-month-old child in church on Sunday. He seemed so tiny. I could hardly remember when my children were his age. But then I thought, he was once much smaller than he is today. A 5-week-old fetus has a clearly audible heartbeat. At this vulnerable age, he has three distinct layers of the body that are called his ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. These three give rise to a brain, a heart and lungs in separate layers. It is interesting that the organs that enable us to learn, to love and to breathe begin to function at such a premature age. Yet, people grow old yearning to learn, hoping to love and waiting to exhale.

For nearly 40 weeks, human offspring grow in darkness before they are born into the light. The ultrasound performed on an unborn child is memorable to most parents as they hear their child’s heartbeat for the first time. That beat in the mother’s womb indicates health to the listening technician. The ultrasound technician takes images of the size of the other major organs, but she listens for the sound of the heart. With the fetal Doppler machine in hand, the nurse monitors the heartbeat for signs of healthy progression at every prenatal visit. That rhythm is the sign of life growing inside. Life is analyzed by regular or irregular intervals of harmony in the heart.

The heart of strong babies determines whether they will make it out of the darkness of the womb and into the outside world alive. If everyone were as the ultrasound technician and looked beyond the images and searched for the demonstration of life in a developing human, it would seem that we would look more for the heart changes. Do you ever wonder why we judge our development more by our brain function and activity than we do by our heart function?

There is a gospel song entitled “Look where he brought me from” that tells a story of the changed life of a believer in Jesus Christ. Songwriter Tommy Jones testifies of an elderly mother in the church who proclaimed that she was “brought out of darkness into the marvelous light.”

Someone revealed the light to her through their life, their testimony or their love. Her testimony demonstrates that an effect on her heart caused her to emerge from an immature state to an enlightened one.

The testimonies of Christian discipleship are narratives of development. They recount the many ways that people who were once blind pushed back the darkness and walked into the light.

This Sunday, we celebrate the greatest act of love demonstrated to us. Because of God’s love, Jesus, the light, came into the world. The passion of the Christ is the ultimate chronicle of development in darkness, and his story continues.

Although this world’s darkness is growing, the womb cannot contain the baby in the dark forever. A growing disciple is too cramped in dark places. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus calls them the light of the world. We are most like beams of light when we love. Early in development, our hearts demonstrate what is healthy. Throughout life, our hearts should demonstrate what is mature, Christlike character and tested faith.


QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.