top of page

More Than We Can Carry

I'm aware of a weight that I carry. The weight of contraditions in myself. The weight of conflict on a global scale: Israel and Gaza; Ukraine and Russia; political and cultural tension within the United States. The weight of our natural world treated as a commodity, threatening the very livability of our planet. The weight of concern for those close to my heart.

You too, have a list of that which weighs you down. At times it may seem that it is more than we can carry.

Such ruminations are magnified in the northern sphere, as daylight gives way to darkness by mid afternoon. A season where darkness of thought meets the darkness of night. So much to carry.

Edge of forest and field, first snow.

This year, December 21st marks the Winter Solstice. That day when the light is most fleeting. The darkest day of the year. A day when the weight is real. When hope is hard to come by.

And yet, paradoxically, the Winter Solstice also marks that point, when the days begin to lengthen. Each day following measured in increments of minutes, the light returns.

Each day building upon the other, until tree buds by mid Winter heed their cue. The birds slowly return from South and Central America, following the seasonal cue of lengthening days.

And we, who have felt the weight of living and being, begin to sense that there is more to life. More possibility. More hope. It's amazing what difference a little light makes.

Andrew Wyeth, the Maine artist and mystic, offers this:

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone

structue of the landscape - the loneliness of it - the

dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it -

the whole story doesn't show."

It is true. When what we know is darkness, that is all we see. Wyeth who looks at the world through the eyes of a painter, knows that there is more. That beneath a frozen landscape there is a whole story yet to be experienced ('something waits beneath it'). Do we believe this to be true?

Back to you and me. I'm aware of the weight I carry. How about you? What weighs you down? What troubles your sleep?

Whatever you carry, the artist reminds us, 'something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show.' I believe this to be true. For as dark as my (or your) thoughts at any given moment may be - we are invited to believe that there is a whole story, a more complete and hopeful story, waiting to show.

Ipswich River, looking up.

Such belief is an act of faith. A belief in what theologians refer to as 'the not yet'. Within my faith tradition we are in the midst of Advent. Where for four weeks in December a candle is lit anticipating the coming of the Christ. When a timeless story is told: the Creator of the Cosmos making a home in the ordinary life of an infant. Born in the midst of foreign occupation, to an unwed mother, fleeing a sadistic king, to live with his family as refugees in Egypt. (Gospel of Matthew 2)

For those of us who know this story, we know that the 'whole story doesn't show'. We know that darkenes will not have the final word. That light, love and hope persist. That hope has been born not only for you and me but also for those living as refugees on the US southern border, in the rubble of Gaza and the eastern front of Ukraine.

Do we believe this to be true?

The trees will soon bud. The birds will return. The light will come.

This is Good News. Thanks be to God.

With you on the journey ~ Kent Harrop

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page