“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light.”
“And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”
— John 3:19 (NRSV)
It wasn’t just in my childhood that I was afraid of the dark. Many times, while staying in Hotel rooms by myself as I travelled around for work, I would leave the bathroom light on. I could say a big part of the reason was needing to be able to find my way around the room in the middle of the night. But there was always something more to it; I felt vulnerable in a strange place by myself.
From a spiritual context, I am also drawn to the Light. Indeed, as for the many, there is no natural inkling toward darkness, but then I suspect there is always darkness within me to contend with. I need light.
Within metaphors of light and darkness, we come to a poignant crossroad: light reveals darkness and light flushes out darkness—if we invite light in and allow light to do its work. We must allow light into our lives such that darkness of the heart would be expunged.
Inviting the Light into Our Lives
These are qualities of character. If we are to invite the light into our lives, in dealing with our darkness, a state of being we all have, we must connect light with truth. Light can only come into our lives when truth, however painful, becomes our value and gauge for life.
Hardly anything is more important than a personally exacting truth.
This is not about exacting the truths of others’ lives—finding cause for judgment or criticism of others—no, this is about our lives, and how we obey and disobey God as the direct result of how we deal with our circumstances. When truth becomes important we must deal with our responses. When truth becomes number one, truth begins to shape our responses.
Our method for dealing with our darkness is repentance in turning toward the light. As we connect this process of turning toward the light with turning toward the truth, we finally acknowledge God. God is love, and we may know that, but God is just as much truth.
Let us turn to the light to see what truth it reveals. The more light we let in, the more truth we will need to deal with, but the more we’ll be blessed in pleasing God.
People may be afraid of the Light for what it reveals. The Light of God is truth for life, but where the truth cannot be acknowledged and attended to people remain in darkness. God cannot help from there.
As we relate with our personal selves in connection with God, the vertical relationship, aligning with truth is never more important.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.