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Posts Tagged ‘light’

Too Bright

One of the great advantages of being a pastor is the over abundance of junk mail.  It is amazing how much advertising is done in the name of Jesus… or in the name of church growth.  I should also say it is amazing how much bad advertising is done in the name of Jesus.  I don’t know if we are trying to advertise Jesus or legitimize our junky product.  Did you know that there is a dance class in Texas called “Pole Dancing for Jesus”… seriously, it’s an exercise class. But as my relatives in Jersey say, “Whaddaya gonna do?”

Most of the junk I receive goes in the trash or I slip it into my youth ministers inbox. But, a few times a year I get the coveted free pen.  Usually they are junk, but once in awhile there is a nice balanced shiny writing pen.  Today did not disappoint.  Today’s pen had a flashlight imbedded in its end.  Yes, I am a sucker for free flashlight pens.

I noticed something though.  If the light is on it shines in your eye when you are writing.  The pen cannot simultaneously work effectively as a writing utensil and an object of illumination… some might argue that is the problem with most writings in our world.  I thought wouldn’t it be great if the light shined the other way so I could write in the dark.  Light actually revealing what I am doing instead of hindering what I am doing.

I wondered at the numerous illustrations of the goodness of light in our life.  We are told to “go to the light”.  Let the “light of Christ” reveal your path.  The “lights” came on and I could see clearly.  The list can go on.  But how many times are we “blinded by the light”?  How often do we come out of that dark restaurant (Mojo’s BBQ) and are hit with a hint of sunlight and feel like Paul getting knocked off his horse  with blindness cowering to the ground yelling “my world, my world”… what, only me?  How many times does light seem to work against us?

During this period of fasting, I have found myself too often faced with the blinding light of God.  At first I am like my daughter who says “it’s too bright for me daddy” and the little gremlin that I am wants to shy away.  They say there is no insult like the truth.  Is that how I take God’s light?  Is it an insult?  How arrogant and self centered I am to think that anything contrary to me is insulting or harmful.  I have Dennis Hopper yelling “Perspective, Man!” in my ear.

Coming face to face with the light of Christ, the revealing nature of God’s love, is not his condemnation.  He is not even insulting me.  God is in the business of revelation, truth, and love.  His light isn’t to blind me at all.  It is revealing a better way.

There are a couple of ways in which to protect your eyes from a blinding light.  You can cover your eyes and keep walking, in which case you are still blind and stumbling.  You can endure the pain and eventually be permanently blind.  You can turn around with your back to the light and have the light wash over you and reveal a shadowy path ahead of you.  In which case you will see shadows of yourself blocking a clear path. Or, you can get next to the one holding the light and see what they see and step where they step.

His blinding love is not an insult, but an invitation.  If I want to see clearly, I have to start walking with the one who has the light.

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