Hues of Grace

 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:18-21)

As a wee child, Dad would warn me against getting too close to the open flame of a campfire, flames licking up this way and that, with tiny embers bursting free from the logs. His worry was that I might be burned, but I wanted to see more, feel the warmth and hear that crackle firsthand. I would approach with caution, though, for the very thing that drew me closer was also the very thing I knew could change me forever. I wonder if this is what is like for those who see the light within us, but also know that light has a power to change those it enters? Maybe there is a little 'trepidation' in approaching the light because there is some awareness of the extreme power of that light!

As we all know, light has a way of illuminating a path, but when we close our eyes to light, the darkness still exists on 'inside'. There is a drawing power that exists within each of us - a testimony that actually helps others see a bit more of God and a whole lot more of what grace in action really looks like. I actually think some shy away from the light within us because they are afraid it will transform their lives, believing the darkness they know is better than the light they don't know. Darkness becomes a comfortable place, not really requiring any real 'exposure'.

Light actually travels in a straight line - no wonder God uses light as a symbol of the life we are to live. It has an intensity that can brighten or grow dimmer by the minute. It can be 'interfered with' by putting something over it, in front of it, or pointing it in a different direction. Although it travels in a straight line, it is possible for light to be dispersed or hidden. God uses each of us as beacons of light - allowing that grace within to shine forth, but sometimes we attempt to hide it, don't we? A scientist may desire the brightest of lights, but an artist appreciates all the various 'hues' created by light with varying intensity.

God is definitely an 'artist' when it comes to light, for he brings out the 'intensity' in just the right way that others will be drawn to it, finding pleasure and goodness in it. Rather than focus on how 'bright' our light shines (in our own estimation), let us allow God to bring out the 'hues of grace' from that light within, drawing those who have been way too familiar with darkness into its basking glow. God can do more with one 'hue' of his grace than we will ever do by 'telling' someone we have the light. Just sayin!

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