“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” – H.P. Lovecraft
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Whatever claim one might like to make about the ‘word’ referred to here, it is at least evident that the Psalmist’s confession testifies to a condition of precedent darkness, perhaps even an overwhelming terror allayed only in the production of meaning; of light. Where is she headed on this night we might ask? There is no mention of some final destination. But, if an adventurous spirit were to suddenly overtake us and we were to accompany her – the dull thud of feet striking against the dirt, the breath of our exertion and the muffled movement of clothing the only sounds breaking the silence as we carve a path through this unbounded abyss – perhaps we might also, at a certain point, experience a vague sense of something monstrous lurking just beyond the protective ring of dim light produced by our lamp. There can be no faith without risk, Kierkegaard tells us. Might we venture a closer look then; raising the lamp a bit higher, straining our necks forward to peer out into these dark mists, even if it means the possibility of seeing something terrible there returning our gaze? Or, in an act of ultimate courage, might we even abandon the relative security of the lamp behind altogether, stepping forward into the night of faith to confront what is not-there?