Sunday, December 11, 2016

Be a lighthouse

"The sincere friends of this world are as ship lights in the stormiest of nights." (Giotto di Bondone) If you have ever sailed through a dark, dark night on the ever black expanse of the tossing seas, you know the value of seeing even the tiniest of lights beckoning you on in the right direction. It is like a glimmer of hope that you are neither sailing alone, nor are you lost forever in the storm tossed seas. Light has a way of beckoning us - while darkness attempts to envelope and engulf us. Light brings expanse into perspective - darkness allows us to imagine all manner of whatever it is we can make up in our minds about whatever it is we are experiencing. Some of the best light I have received was not read in scripture, nor was it given in an audible voice from heaven. It came in the form of a sincere friend just simply stating things as plainly as possible and leaving those words there to just have their effect on me. I can admit to almost getting way too familiar with the darkness around me, allowing it to begin to work on my imagination, and almost ready to engulf me forever, when the simple statement of a faithful companion delivered the very essence of light that beckoned me back into reality and helped steer my course back into seas of safety.

On another occasion, Jesus spoke to the crowds again. Jesus: I am the light that shines through the cosmos; if you walk with Me, you will thrive in the nourishing light that gives life and will not know darkness. (John 8:12 VOICE)


Yes, we are meant to thrive in the nourishing light that gives life - but way too often we get more than familiar with darkness. We come to know darkness - as though it would be the place we would dwell for a good, long time. If we have placed our trust and hope in the finished work of Christ in our lives, we cannot dwell long in the place of darkness without a glimmer of light beginning to beckon us on. Why? We aren't meant to dwell there - we aren't even meant to "know" darkness. It might toss our seas once in a while, but like the faithful friend of all times, the light of Christ will break into that darkness and begin to show us the futility of fearing the dark place.

Our minds see much in the darkness, not because we actually perceive those things, but because of memory. We can "recreate" what we cannot clearly see - it is like an automatic response to not seeing clearly. We make things up. This might be the greatest danger of the darkness that attempts to get our surrender - it plays upon the memories of our minds and allows the "creativity" of our imagination to carry us away into beliefs and fears we might not otherwise have considered in the rational place of light. Maybe this is why Jesus tells his hearers to always move toward the light - toward him - so that they won'd move from the rational place of light.

The darkness is never a place of rational thought - it depends upon a little imaginative "reconstruction" of what it is we remember or believe to be in our path. If you have ever stubbed your toe in the darkness of night, you know how much you believed yourself to have judged the path you were on correctly, making up that path in your mind's memory. Your stubbed toe shows you just how irrational your belief was - for that object in your way was not there in your imagined perception of the darkness! In the darkness, it is possible to perceive things closer than they are, bigger than they are in real life, or more "dangerous" to us than they would ever be in the clearness of midday. 

It has been said that when we bring light into a circumstance the darkness will flee all on its own. How true that is! Darkness has no way of remaining when all obstacles are revealed and opened before light's inspecting eye. We can be assured of this very thing - the seas may toss, the darkness may invade, but we don't have to rely upon what we imagine to get us through. The light is right there, beckoning us onward, outward, until we come into the safety of seeing clearly once again. We are not meant to know or dwell in dark places - so move toward that light. Just sayin!