Picture this: Light

A little while back our pastor said during a service that we shouldn’t just sing the words during Praise & Worship time, but be sensitive to the Spirit and open to insights that would come. I remember thinking at the time that that sounded like a reasonable approach but I didn’t give it another thought as the week, maybe even two weeks, went on. Then it just started happening: we would be singing and one or two lines in a song would just seem to come alive within me, painting a picture or creating a deeper understanding.

The first time it was kind of neat. The next week it happened with another song, which in turn reminded me of the week before. Then another week, another song, another picture. It kept happening, and sometimes I would share these pictures or revelations with the congregation and other times I’d keep it to myself and ponder it. What I also found happening, however, is that these images would fade as the week went on unless something specifically reminded me of them. Even then it could be just the sketchiest recollection; I’d remember the general sense of what I’d seen but not the quickening I felt when it first coalesced in my mind, kind of like having a dream and then trying to describe the next day over lunch.

What I’ve decided to do, then, is to try and write these down as soon as I can and since I’m doing that I might as well post them here for whatever it’s worth. Frankly, I don’t know if this will help me remember or apply what I’ve seen, or if it will bring the whole thing to a halt. Or maybe it’s what I’ve supposed to have been doing all along.

Today in church we did something very different and didn’t sing, but last week I had made special note of what I’d received and wrote it down and held onto it while I decided whether to start sharing these pictures. Here goes.

“He wraps himself in light,
and darkness tries to hide…”

The song had many more lines than that but these two were what stopped me. I pictured what happens when a light is turned on in an empty room; immediately the darkness clears out, looking for a place to hide. It can only exist where there’s something that blocks the light, so it goes to the corners as if trying to find a narrow space. If the room has boxes or furniture in it, though, it will “hide” on the other side of these, appearing as a shadow.

Then I saw that the “room” is our lives and Jesus is the light that comes in, and the darkness tries to hide from Him. Great parts of the room are illuminated, but the shadows still exist behind the stuff in the room. Some of that stuff in my room are things that I’ve carried in there, and some are things that others might have deposited. Regardless, there are things in my life — things where my mind hasn’t been completely renewed, things where I still prefer to lean toward my own understanding or my own plans — that come between me and Jesus. Though the room is lit and much brighter than before, and the shadows aren’t as dark as the dark itself was, certain things in my life have a dark side that doesn’t want the light to come in.

So. Can I let the light shine on me in these areas? The light is all around, it wants to be where I am. But it’s cool in the shade and sometimes the light hurts my eyes so that I don’t want to look at it. What do I do? If it’s something I’ve brought in — some comfy furniture, for example, or abstract art that I thought made me look sophisticated — I should just carry it outside. If it’s baggage that someone else has dropped I should carry that out like garbage as well, or if it’s too heavy, at least step out from behind it rather than using it as an excuse. Perhaps I am like a chastened puppy, hiding under the couch that just needs to come out and let restoration and transformation begin.

Can I, will I, crawl out?

Psalm 89:15 “Blessed [is] the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.”

John 8:12 “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light…”

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