Faces on Faith: Let there be light – in you!
There are over 200 references to light in the Bible – throughout Hebrew Scripture right on through the New Testament. From the Book of Genesis where God’s breath sweeps over the face of the waters and darkness covers the deep, we know the familiar words, “Let there be light!” To the Gospel of Matthew where Matthew – pointing to Christ – reminds people of the comforting and hope-filled words of the Prophet Isaiah: “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.” Prophets, evangelists, and so many other God-fearing people in the past have offered us scriptural verses of light to comfort our souls, illumine our minds, and fill our hearts with hope. I can’t think of a better time to focus on moments and spaces of light than now as this country, and our world, seems focused on dissension, disagreement, and self-righteous attitudes – attitudes and deeds and words, which offer nothing of hope, or enlightened solutions.
A strange thing has happened in our little pond behind the house these past few months – something I’d never seen before. Every day, 30 to 40 egrets have perched all around the pond’s edge and in the driftwood in the pond itself. Every morning as I sit here at my computer and watch the sun rise, I see them again – sitting, pruning, stalking geckoes, sipping water from their long bills – occasionally conversing with an ibis sitting on the same piece of wood. We’ve always had a few egrets as neighbors, but never this profusion of the species. As the sun comes up and light reflects on these beautiful creatures – almost like neon glowing in the dark – it takes me aback at the incredible beauty in nature. There they are – those little sparks of white light set against the still dark woods around me. With each minute on the clock they become brighter and more visible. This simple phenomenon tweaks my heart and soul and becomes a little reminder to look and see the many, many lights in my midst on this island – reaching out, helping, caring for, comforting, guiding. This area may be designated a “dark sky” geographical area, but the human lights of hope and love are everywhere – if you just look. Even the jovial smile of the person directing traffic at Periwinkle and Lindgren lights up some otherwise impatient motorists trying to get on and off the island.
So, a flock of egrets are gathering in the Rector’s pond. So, a joyful traffic director tries to lighten up someone’s day. Simple stories – meanderings of the mind? Maybe not. Whether we look to nature to discover light-filled moments. Whether we look to one another for those random looks of humor and comfort and joy. Whatever or however we illuminate the lives of friend and stranger at this time is more the challenge. Let that light of God’s healing grace overcome any dark and dreary moments these days. With that grace opportunities abound for building up a struggling humanity and seeing light in any darkness.