Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Daughter of Light?

My reading recently took me to Ephesians 5:8 ~ For you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
I was excited but humbled as well because I don’t feel much like a Daughter of Light. Especially of late because I have really been battling something dark that has wanted to squelch the light right out of me. Suffice it to say I often feel more like a Daughter of Grumbling, or Daughter of Discouragement, or even a Daughter of Disorganization ~ but Light????? Me?
My mind has mulled over it again and again… what does it mean to be a Daughter of Light? Why would God chose that particular name, especially for me? What does a Daughter of Light look like?
I had a memory from my early childhood in Portugal. This particular memory was of going on a walk through the country side with my father.
The countryside was hilly and brown scattered here and there with patches of tall scruffy grass. Among the occasional gray mottled boulders, dusty looking sheep could be seen grazing. One could easily imagine young David sitting on one of the rolling hills watching over his flocks, perhaps making soulful sounds on his flute.
I remember my fathers legs being oh so long and it seemed we walked much too far and that he walked much too quickly! Our walk soon became a carry :O) as walks with small children often do.
At some point in our walk we ended up going inside a small cave that had formed in the crevice of the rocky hillside. It is the memory of this cave that will stand out in my memory forever!
As we stepped into the cave we were immediately engulfed by a cool, musty darkness. The deeper my father carried me into the cave the thicker the darkness became! It soon devoured the anemic fingers of light that filtered in through the opening and it had become so black I couldn’t see anything. This was this type of darkness that the term “I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.” was coined for!
My father’s face, that had moments ago been just inches away from me, was now invisible! The ebony darkness was so thick and ominous. I remember being terrified… so paralyzed with fear that my ability to breathe seemed effected. I felt as though I was inhaling the very darkness!
In my childish immaturity, I was alone. My father was gone! I could feel my father’s heart beating cadence against me and I could feel his strong arms securely around me but I felt alone and afraid. Even the soothing sound of my father’s deep voice in my ears could not reassure, or comfort me.
Suddenly the darkness was illuminated by a small flicker from my father’s cigarette lighter! That tiny flame lit up the walls of the cave and chased away the darkness. That one small light illuminated the face of my father who had held me protectively in his arms the entire time; but now I could see his face and I was flooded with relief. I felt protected from the darkness. The light revealed what was truth…my father was there and he had always had been there! He had never left, I for that moment lost sight of him!
So, what does it mean to me to be a Daughter of Light? A better question might be what does it mean to be light? Merriam Webster tells us light is “something that makes vision possible.”
When the children were younger we studied the life of an amazing woman. Her name was Helen Keller. Early life was uneventful for Helen. She was a bright, active, healthy, toddler but an unfortunate illness left her permanently blind, deaf and mute. Helen found herself virtually a prisoner inside her own little body unable to access the world around her and unable to communicate with those she loved the most!
How tragic her life may have been except for a monumental change that occurred a few years later when the family decided to hire a teacher. The teacher came to live in their home and helped to care for the unruly, undisciplined child. Helen’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, came along side Helen and patiently taught her a new way of “seeing” the world. She changed Helen’s life forever. Annie Sullivan became light for Helen because…she made vision possible for the blind girl!
That is what a Daughter of Light should do. That is what a Son of Light should do. They should come along side those who are spiritually blind, deaf and mute and teach them to see God, to hear God, and to talk to God.
“But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light for whatever makes manifest is light.”
We are to be the light that exposes darkness. We don’t have to do anything in particular except to be who we were called to be. Our life choices should manifest God.
We don’t have to be highly educated people to grasp the truths of God’s word. Jesus used the plain language of the plain people to share deep truths. St Augustine said it this way “Hearts speak to hearts.” Often the simple things teach the most valuable lessons.
Remember the children’s Bible song that says “Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.”?
I would challenge each of us to look at our lives and see how well our “grown up” lifestyles measure up to the almost childlike simplicity of the scriptures. Have our “grown-up” rights of passage actually caused us to compromise our faith (Or the faith of others?) and make provision for sin within our hearts instead of giving us promised freedom we expected? Have our little eyes and little ears jeopardized our little hearts?
Could we, would we ask Jesus to sit and partake in our daily diversions? Could He sit next to us and watch our favorite television show or read over our shoulder as we read from our favorite book or magazine? Perhaps even a critical ear needs to be opened on the music we listen to.
Would our reading, media, music and computer viewing choices be pleasing to Christ whose spirit lives within us? Do these influences draw us into deeper fellowship with Christ and with other believers? Or do they cast a shadow over, or even openly mock Godly things? Do we honor the holy name of God that Christ died to preserve? Or do we let God’s name get bantered about and do nothing about it?
We truly live in the day scripture says good will be called evil and evil will be called good. The things of God are perceived as childish, narrow minded and foolish by mainstream media, and mainstream America is being carried along in the wake of that media.
Have we become so jaded by the attitudes of the world that we have lost our childlike desire to imitators of God? Have we compromised our ability to be Sons and Daughters of Light?
Ezekiel tells of men who have set up idols in their hearts and put before themselves that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. What a frightening but accurate picture of the church at large today.
We must remember who we are in Christ. WE are, you are, and I am, the light of the world. We are not alone in this world and we can’t live as if we are! We live in a dark place where even a tiny flicker of light can offer great illumination.
Darkness is only ~ the absence of light.
What an incredible mantle we wear as Children of Light!
From a Daughter of Light!!!

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