Peak Perspectives: Darkness And Light

October 22, 2020

“The people who live in darkness have seen a great light.”

So began one of our minister’s sermons this past winter.

That’s all I heard, sitting with the pack of wild baboons known as my daughters. They’ve actually spit out Communion bread before at church, which was more than a little awkward.

But I want to tell you a nicer story, give you a glimpse into our minister’s work – how she meets her church’s mission statement to “feed people, all ways.”

A few years ago my then 6-year-old had a seizure. I had been overseas in Korea the previous year – my wife had to do multiple emergency room trips alone - I and when I was finally there for one, I didn’t know what to do.

If you ever want to know helplessness, watch a loved one’s body shut down and have absolutely no ability to stop it. It was like watching her drown, and doing nothing.

We got through it, and the next morning, in the dark, on my run, I stopped, put my hands on my knees, felt so ashamed and such a failure as a father that I couldn’t stop the sobbing.

A few days later I was back on my knees, this time holding my daughter’s hand, both of us kneeling for communion.

As she always does, our minister asked my daughter, “Would you like a blessing?”

It’s the simplest thing – gentle touch to the forehead and some kind words.

It meant so much. In that moment, I felt better. At peace.

Whether you go to church or not, we all know suffering is universal. We all feel pain.

Some pain can’t be bound up or bandaged over. It’s deeper, so it matters that our town has someone like our minister, a special kind of doctor whose door is always open.

Be good, be well, be the hero in your life’s movie. Until next week, no matter what, climb on.


Peak Perspectives is a weekly segment written and voiced by Matt Cavanaugh, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and a resident of Manitou Springs where he lives with his wife and two young children. Through his writing, Cavanuagh explores life in the Pikes Peak region, including the gradients and subtleties of our lives in the shadow of America's Mountain. 

You can find more work by Cavanaugh here.

KRCC's Abigail Beckman manages the "Peak Perspectives" series. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of KRCC or Colorado Public Radio.

Peak Perspectives is sponsored by Pueblo Recycle Works.