In 2009 I traveled with 30 other seminary students to the Middle East. One day we went to the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. I walked in with tears, stayed in tears, and left in tears. It was haunting. Reading about innocent people killed who did nothing more than attempt to live free in this world . . . there’s a certain darkness attached to those moments.
The Holocaust is probably the darkest period in recent, human history. There have been a lot of dark moments in the world in the last 200 years, but the sheer madness of such a time as this is unconscionable.
On the way out of the museum, there’s a second, smaller memorial just a few yards off the main building. The sidewalk sign reads, “Children’s Memorial.” It is a room dedicated to the thousands of children who lost their lives unfairly. I did not want to go in; my soul was already crushed. But I knew I had to do it.
You walk into a dome-shaped room. It is very dark. You have a walkway with two rails on the side that wind you into the center of the dome, and what you see are thousands and thousands of candles. They’re all around you. Each bursting of light representing one innocent child after another while their names are slowly read over the sound system.
It is a heart-crushing, yet beautiful reminder that even these innocent lives carry forth the light of Christ and not even death itself can snuff it out. Even after their death, Christ’s light shines through their memories.
This memorial is easily one of the most holy spaces I have ever seen. You are surrounded by thousands of flickering candles. But the longer you stand there, your eyes adjust, and you realize something else. There are not thousands of candles; instead, there are thousands of mirrors. There is only one candle.
Look at this picture closely. It is from the Children’s Memorial in Jerusalem. It is gorgeous. And there is just one candle with mirrors reflecting over and over and over again it's light.
And this illustrates for me the power of Easter. Because of the resurrection, we get to be a mirror. And no matter how dark our world gets . . . we will always be able to reflect Christ’s light (the light in which we see all light).
And when you claim the reality that you are a mirrored image of God . . . and then you join your mirror with other mirrors who are also reflecting this same light . . . then Christ’s light spreads to our community and even our world. And this is the deep truth of Easter: “You are the reflection of God’s light.”
You are not too dark. You are not too sinful. In you is Christ’s light, and by Christ’s light, we see all light.