What if there are no words for the ache, hollowness, the pain, darkness of night when you are drowning in anxiety, and the insidious actions that leave one absent of trust and belonging?

What if there are no words for the cruelty, injustice, sickness, loss, weariness, and depths of sorrow?

What are the words that help us make sense of the racial mocking that takes place on a commencement stage, or when being spit on while boarding a flight to fly home for the holidays? What are the words that fill the empty womb when there’s been a miscarriage and the loss of your first baby? And what words can we offer for a young woman who’s been orphaned twice and spends yet another Christmas without family? Or the words for the family who are refugees and trying to cope with the profound trauma and loss of all they’ve ever known? What about the words for the elderly man who is spending his first Christmas alone because his wife just died of cancer a month ago? And to the woman who just lost her son from unexpected illness?

As I’ve been pondering this over the past couple weeks, I have struggled to find words that come close to honoring the grief.

A friend offered me this phrase:

Wordless Darkness

Wordless darkness are simply two words and yet a resounding lament of the heaviness and a solid description of the hike through the valley of the shadow of death.

I can’t think of a better way to describe the season of Advent and the Winter Solstice.


Sandhya Oaks is a ministry leader, speaker, and advocate. Born in India and adopted as a Transracial Adoptee in the Midwest, and serves full time in campus ministry. She is the Co-Founder of The Adoption Triad, a social media group that provides community and resources to those connected to Adoption and Foster Care. She is trained in Narrative Focused Trauma work and is a Spiritual Director.

Advent, which means “coming”, is a season where we acknowledge that things are not as they should be. We are promised that this beautiful creation of which we are a part of will be restored. Join us via Patreon to get access to Longing: An Advent Guide for the Faithful Activists. 


The views and opinions expressed on the Chasing Justice Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Chasing Justice. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

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