This weekend, we saw the awful destruction that both man and nature can create.
In Japan - the earthquake, the tsunami(s?), the possible nuclear meltdown, the chaos - the sheer uncertainty of life.
In Israel - a family shattered forever, on Shabbat during their sleep - what is supposed to be the most secure time in one's week.
One destruction by the hand of nature, one destruction by the hand of man.
I keep thinking - there is no way the news can get worse. I've been thinking this for a few years now, as the news headlines have become more outrageous. Economic collapse, horrible crimes, political revolutions, natural disasters - every time I read a headline, I think: this is it. Mashaich just has to come because I can't imagine how much more insane the headlines have to get.
And yet, the next day, the sun shines. It always shines. It always rises and shines and makes the sky look pretty and the flowers open and the birds chirp. Always.
That teaches us a lesson. It teaches us that to dispel darkness, we must give light. This is what Chabad teaches. When times seem to be the most dark - when things look the most bleak to you, that is when you must give light to the world. Goodness. Hope. Faith. Acts of kindness and charity. It's what got the 33 Chilean miners through. It's what Little Orphan Annie sings about. It's what gets us through our darkest moments - that hope for a better future, that things will turn around, and we will see the light.
So do what you can, please, to bring forth more light into this world. Light candles on Friday night, or give charity in honor of Purim, or share an unsolicited kind word about someone. Do what you can to increase the light.