Darkness and Light

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

I had my first migraine in the spring of 2012. It came out of nowhere and hit me like Wiley Coyote’s anvil. Until we moved to Alabama, I had what they diagnosed as daily persistent headaches with chronic migraines. In other words, headaches all day every day with 1-3 migraines a week. The first thing you learn when you get migraines is that darkness is your friend. One day when I was having a particularly bad migraine, I was desperately trying to block out all the light. All the blinds were closed, eyes were closed, eye mask was on, and I could still feel the light. At that moment I just wanted to escape even the thought of light. Light equaled pain. Like knives piercing through my eyes and deep into my brain.  Then it hit me. Is the light as painful for those who walk in darkness of sin?  

I’ve watched so many people willingly walk in the darkness of the desires of their own heart. Stumbling and falling time and time again. Not even realizing that they are walking in darkness, that there is a better way. Isaiah said they call evil good and put darkness for light. I have to be honest and say I’ve been pretty judgmental of them. I’ve tried to shine the light and show them there’s a better way, only to be shut down. They get upset. They feel hurt that I’ve told them they are in the dark. But isn’t that what we are called to do? Be a light in the darkness? Not hide it under a bushel? It wasn’t till my migraines that I realized the light can be painful. Staying in darkness can feel safer and more comfortable than stepping into the light. I’m wondering if this is true for those who have lived in the darkness.  

When my kids were little, I always had a night light in their rooms. Not because they were scared of the dark but because I feared for my life walking in their rooms in the middle of the night. It was a boobytrap of clothes, toys, and worst of all, Legos. When they are crying or sick in the middle of the night you can’t just go in there and throw on the light, but you definitely don’t want to walk in there blindly either. A night light gives off just enough of a glow to allow you to see where you are going but not be blinded by the brightness of the overhead lights. Remember playing hide-n-go-seek in the dark as a kid? Your eyes adjust to the darkness and then your parents come in and flip on the lights and everyone screams and covers their eyes. I’m afraid that’s what we as Christians do way too often. We walk into someone’s life, throw the LED spotlight on and wonder why they cover their eyes screaming and run away. There’s comforting light and obnoxious light. For example, I’m sitting here writing this by the glow of the Christmas tree lights, very relaxing and peaceful. When I got pulled over the other night and the cop lights came blasting through my windows and he flipped on his spotlight…not relaxing at all. Both were lights and did their job of casting out darkness, but one was welcomed and the other…well made me want to run away screaming and crying. Don’t worry, I didn’t run. Now had a been pulled over in the light of day those police lights wouldn’t have been as obnoxious.  Also, during the middle of the day turning on my Christmas tree lights doesn’t hold the same feelings.  

So where does all my rambling about darkness and light leave me? When people are walking in darkness to come in with lights blazing and sirens wailing is probably not the best approach. To be a night light in their darkness and share with them the light of Christ, to show them the truth in love, to be gentle and realize that it’s a painful process to come face to face with the darkness, to be patient, let them adjust to the light. When the Hebrews were in the wilderness, they saw a glimpse of the Glory of God and told Moses they didn’t want God speaking with them because they were scared it would kill them. The light and glory of God can be an amazing and wonderful experience, if you know Him. If not, it can be terrifying. The light can be a comforting and safe place to rest. It also shows all the clothes, toys and Legos on the floor, all the things that need to be addressed. To be cleaned up and moved out. It can be overwhelming. We don’t hide our light under a bushel, but we also don’t shine it directly in their eyes and expect them to be able to see anything.  

Lastly, I can’t wait till one day I will be able to fully bask in the Glory and Light of my Savior. Where light no longer carries the fear of pain, but instead is a place of rest, comfort, and love. Until then, in the season of the Birth of my Savior, I will be grateful for His love for me. For His willingness to step down into the darkness of this world and set aside His blinding Glory and walk among us. To show the light of His love in a way we could accept it. In a way we could handle it. And to know that one day “the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” Revelation 21:23 

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