When daylight comes, comes in the light

Say not the struggle nought availeth,
The labour and the woundsare vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.

Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)

Life can feel like a struggle, and Arthur Hugh Clough challenges readers not to dismiss the struggle. His words, engraved on a walkway between the Laity Lodge offices and the Laity Lodge Family Camp offices in Kerrville, remind us that our struggle is being won—even if we cannot see it happening.

Our hopes are only “dupes” if we hope in things that are false. Our fears “may be liars” and often do not deserve the power we give them. Our friends are chasing off the enemy “in yon smoke concealed,” which means our role is merely to join the effort to “possess the field.”

But hope and truth and justice can still feel elusive. Clough invokes a metaphor of unchanging waves never making progress against the shore. Although the “tired waves” seem to make no difference, we know those same waves evaporate and become rain that fills creeks and rivers and becomes a flood. No matter how dark we feel, the sun always rises—and when it does, it fills the land with light.

More from this issue

Loving Your Enemies

As I watch the news, I see discord and disharmony everywhere... the problem isn’t just out there—it’s also in my own heart, in our families, and in our organizations.

Our Future Comes Out of Our Past

A reflection from Howard Butt Jr. about how beauty anchors us in relationship with God.

Why Camp?

The purpose and future of the life-changing Foundation Camp

Spaces Created for You & Me

San Antonio architect Jonathan Card reflects on bringing the intentionality of the Canyon to a new space in the city.

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