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I Have Seen The Light!

December 15, 2014

For the past few days, I have had the concept of “LIGHT” on my mind — particularly as it pertains to “Christmas” light.

We drove by a house last night that had twinkling, dancing lights projected against the side of the house.  I said to my son, “Ahhh, that house makes me happy.”   Driving around “looking at the lights” is a Christmas tradition shared by many.  Decorating one’s home with lights becomes somewhat of an achievement each year to do more and better with lights. (i.e.  Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation”)

It surely seems that we are “drawn” to “light” and “lights.”  We ooohhhh and aaahhhh at the twinkling and blinking of the holiday lights as well as the sparkling, neon lights that adorn showplaces, or even the “Friday Night Lights” of a hometown field.  It just feels good to be near or in the “Light.”  Yes?

Light is something that is obviously held dear by most human beings, and by God.  There are more than 900 famous quotes pertaining to light.  The Bible mentions light more than 200 times (http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_WordCount.htm) .

We’re entertained by light; comforted by light; restored by light; guided by light; and yes, very often, we are blinded by light.  The human eye is very efficient in that it can adjust to very bright light as well as very stark darkness.   It takes about 20-30 minutes for the eye to fully adjust “from bright sunlight to complete darkness.”  But it only takes about five minutes for the eye to adapt “to bright sunlight from complete darkness.”     In fact, the body’s “circadian rhythm” (or body clock and many health factors) are greatly affected by light and darkness. ((http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sleep_and_your_body_clock-health/article_em.htm ).

People who work varying shifts will generally attest that they don’t rest as well when trying to sleep during daylight.  Most of us find better health when we “live or function in the light” and take rest in the darkness.  AND, I have a good number of friends who hate to see the autumnal equinox and winter solstice come about because they prefer days that have more sunlight, and less darkness.

From the book of Genesis in the Bible, one of the first acts of Creation was God separating the light from the darkness.  (Genesis 1:3)  And that’s the way it has been through all time … even with the birth of His Son, Jesus … The LIGHT of the World. (John 8:2)  Furthermore, for those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ, we are called to “let our lights shine” … to bring glory to God and fill the purposes of light in what sometimes seems like a “dark world.”  (Matthew 5:16)

Perhaps at no other time in our busy lives is “light” more obvious and prevalent than during the Christmas holiday season.  As I said, we drive around looking at the decorations of lights; the stores are brightly lit; and as a general rule of thumb, the “goodness” of humankind tends to shine more brightly during this season.

Yet still … my mind ponders toward where LIGHT has not reached the darkness.  Not all homes are illuminated.  Some do not have even a light in the window.  And it’s not about having a twinkling tree with tinsel reflecting the shimmer of lights, or presents under the tree or a spectacular showplace that illuminates the whole block.  Some homes and some hearts just do not have nor see “the LIGHT.”

Tracy Grant, with the Washington Post writes, “These are the darkest days of the year, and it’s no coincidence that the flickering flames of the menorah, the twinkling lights on the tree and the Kwanzaa candelabrum all harken to the human need for the comfort of light. But the holiday rush often provides more heat than light, and when it’s over, we are too often let down. We didn’t get from the holidays what we hoped we would. Perhaps it was because we didn’t take the time to see the light.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/advice/celebrating-the-season-of-light/2011/12/02/gIQASYgrtO_story.html

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to have those electric candles in each window of our house.  To me they always made me think that inside the family was cozy, and warm and loving and safe.  The light in the window is traditional in many cultures for different reasons … but for most it’s symbolizes friendship, home, family, trust and tradition.  So much of those foundational aspects of our society are cracked or broken.

Leonard Cohen in his book, “Selected Poems, 1956-1968” wrote, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

“Allowing the light to get in” or fulfilling the purpose of light in this world (comfort, guidance, or restoration) should be a natural part of our everyday life.  But as I also pointed out, we can sometimes be “blinded by the light” and become oblivious to the cracks or brokenness around us.

Such “cracks” are often dismissed or perhaps even provided a “quick fix” without any investment of time or consideration toward what is truly needed for restoration, repair or redemption.

But, the thing about cracks and light and darkness is … you CAN see the smallest amount of light through a crack (even if the LIGHT is being provided for some other purpose).

In this “SEASON OF LIGHT” — I pray that the windows to our hearts and souls are illuminated by not only the lights that are twinkling, sparkling and adding the “ooohs and aaahs” to our holidays … but that we also peer through the “pane” to see where we can be LIGHT not only during December, but throughout the whole year as well.

Merry Christmas.

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