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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A candle or a mirror

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."  (Edith Wharton)  A candle isn't really a light until the wick is set on fire - the fire isn't in the control of the candle, but the candle yields to the influence of the fire.  Similarly, a mirror is just a shiny piece of glass painted with a reflective coat of silver nitrate - until there is something to reflect back at the one viewing the image they see.  That image isn't "within" the shiny glass, but is a reflection of the one who stands within a distance so as to behold the image.  A mirror reflecting light can become a powerhouse of energy which ignites fire in whatever is in the path of that reflected light.

And you, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house. You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.  (Matthew 5:14-16 VOICE)

Light isn't something we "make", but something we reflect. We reflect the image of Christ - sometimes as a light giving a glimmer of brightness in a dark place like the candle; at others we are agents which allow the ignition of a powerful flame in others like the mirror reflecting the light. It doesn't really matter which "light" we are today, it only matters we are reflecting it!  Where would we be if a mirror only absorbed the light? Or if a candle was placed only where the light could reflect inside of us - never allowed to invade the darker recesses of the lives of others?  We'd be in a dark place without warmth!

As a city on a hilltop cannot be hidden, so the light within us cannot be contained or obscured from the view of those who catch even a glimmer of that radiance.  If you have ever been so far out in the wilderness as to just look for miles and miles without any sign of life other than the desert surrounding you, or the hillside after hillside of trees and green undergrowth, you know what it is like to perhaps catch site of something which reflects the light for even a moment.  It looks so different from what you have been looking at for miles and miles that it catches your attention.  The light of Christ within each of us is like that tiny object which catches the attention of the one who sees even the tiniest of reflection for even one moment in time.  

We don't make that fire within - Christ carefully places it there.  We reflect his radiance - not our own.  It is impossible for man to make fire - fire is a result of either a spark or the action of reflected "heat" from the light of the sun.  The spark and the reflected heat are both products of something done, they are not the object of fire itself.  Similarly, the light within is not "made" by human hands, but received by the opening of one's spirit to yield to the influence of the one who gives light.  Just sayin!