Dirt and Darkness
Along with the bright light and warmth of morning, the truth of my housekeeping was on display everywhere. The disturbing revelation included dirty specks on the floors and smudges and rain residue on the windows and sliding doors. There were greasy marks and fingerprints on my kitchen cabinets and stainless steel appliances, plus cat hair on the furniture. So much cleaning had been neglected! I started to feel ashamed and then defensive. Then I argued with myself: most of the time this doesn’t show. I have other things in my life, I don’t use a maid, and my house is cleaner than average. It looks fine in the afternoon and evening light. Oh, just shut the shades so I don’t have to see all this!
Yet the older I get, the less confident I feel about walking in darkness or dim lighting. I am glad that there is a streetlight near my house. I don’t really like driving my car in new routes in the dark. Sure I can use a flashlight or my car headlights but that only lights a path and there are a lot of unknowns in the shadows. Crime statistics prove that the majority of evil is done under the darkness of night.
Have you ever taken something into sunlight so you could see it’s “true colors”? I am reminded about how all of us sometimes like to hide in the dark. Or we keep others in the dark so they won’t know the truth about us. We can fool ourselves for so long but if the sunlight of truth or honesty hits us, we are ashamed, angry or defensive as we back into the darkness. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, the Apostle Paul tells us that the god of this age has blinded unbelievers so “they don’t see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,” (NIV).
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” John 8:12. God often shows up as a burning or blinding light in Bible stories. He, as the source of energy and life, is a ball of fire, a burning bush, an eternal flame, a brilliance too much for human eyes. However, there is mercy once we are in God’s wonderful light (I Peter 2:9-10).
God made his light shine in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4: 6) and we are invited to use the light that God gives us to help brighten this world—to bring an end to darkness of the mind and spirit (Matthew 5:14-16). I want to welcome God’s light and warmth in a world that so often presses darkness upon us and chills us with fear and anxiety.
In the bright sunshine I marveled at the delicate details of my cats’ fur, the flowers outside the window, and a blue cloudless sky. Then I swept my floor, wiped some cabinet fronts and started singing a song from my childhood. “This little light of mine, I’m going let it shine.”
Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:
- Tell about a time when you longed for sunshine.
- In Revelation 21, the New Jerusalem or the Holy City that God has prepared for his believers is described. Read verses 23 and 24. What is the “glory of God” to you?
Karen Spruill writes from Florida.
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