Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why We Need The Light...

Our power went out Sunday night. Word on the street was that a foil balloon got caught in some power lines a few streets over causing sparks to fly. But, that's the word from a nine year old...the same nine year old who may or may not believe Spider Man is an actual career choice.


We had a house full of little people--a few extras tossed into our usual gang for an impromptu sleepover--and no power. So, we sent them out to the backyard to launch their latest, greatest imaginary play. If you live near me, I'm sure you could hear the ruckus several blocks away. Charlie took our Crab-Boy for a walk to try to soothe his aching gums and ears while I attempted to clean up from a very busy weekend. It was twilight so I knew the light was fading. I also knew that with extra people in the house, some degree of cleanliness was required.

First, I opened all the curtains and doors to capture as much light as possible and then decided to work from the darkest areas to the lightest, picking up and putting away as quickly as I could manage. Though I was interrupted here and there with requests for drinks and the need to steer the girls' play-acting in a different direction (No, there are no vampire bats in the neighborhood and please stop including that as part of your story-line--you're scaring your sisters!), I managed to get quite a bit done...or so I thought.

The power finally came back on just as I had lit all the candles and was calling the kids in to get ready for bed. We turned on lights and the result of my efforts was apparent. Though obvious things we in their proper places--toys in bins and baskets, laundry in the hamper, dishes in the dishwasher--the tables and counters I had wiped down were streaky and still dirty and I had missed several items lurking in once dark corners of the house. The house was only half clean and therefore appeared to still be all dirty.

It got me thinking about how important light illuminates our surroundings. Not only that but it drives away the mystery of darkness. Basically, you can't hide in the light.

And Jesus said He is the Light of the world...hmmm.

It's a good example to think through. As believers, we probably all know folks who are living in darkness. Even if they don't agree. It's so important that we keep perspective. Just like my housekeeping efforts, God doesn't want us to try to clean ourselves up in fading light, missing obvious filth and sin. He wants to illumine our souls--to show us the absolute ridiculousness of our situation. He wants us to understand that we, in our own efforts and under our own power, cannot possibly make ourselves clean. And then He gets to work cleansing us completely. There are no streaky counter tops or missed clutter. Our lives take on a shine and an orderliness that is impossible without Jesus Christ.

Since our powerless hours Sunday evening I've been thinking a lot about why Jesus calls Himself the Light of the world. And about how dark our world is becoming. It's twilight, I think. The Light is fading in our culture and God is calling us to let Him shine brightly through us to a lost and hurting world. It's challenging. Part of me wants to hunker down and stay blind to the world around me. It's a scary place full of scary ideals and sinful behavior. It's getting worse and worse each year. But, I think about how life changing it was to have the Light of God's love shine into the darkness of my own soul and how grateful I am that others were willing to be used in such a way that I came to understand how valuable I am to God and what lengths He will go to rescue me. And I want to be in that Light, working to make a bright place for others.

Light of the world, shine through me and in me. Make me useful for Your kingdom. Be glorified in all I do and say today and everyday. In Your name, Amen.