When you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and you flip the switch… you hate the light. You squint. You stumble. You think to yourself, “I know my bathroom. Next time I’m going to figure this out in the dark.” But I challenge you tomorrow morning when you’re supposed to wake up, to keep the lights off and pick out your clothes in the dark, shower in the dark, and put on your makeup in the dark. (post a picture of this failed experiment if you dare).
However the light does so much more than ensure socks match and eyeliner is on straight:
- without it there would be no sunrise nor sunset.
- how else could we prove that the monster in the closet isn’t real?
- lots of mini ones make Christmas trees sparkle.
- more light equals less fuzzy selfies.
- whether a cigarette lighter or a cell phone, it makes ballads at concerts better.
- tells us when to stop, go, or go faster (I mean slow down…)
- shows us something is dirty and we need to get off our procrastinating butt and clean it!
- helps you see the curves in the road (and the deer) at night.
Today God I am thankful for… light.
In addition to the litany of reasons outlined above there are much more personal reasons why I am thankful for the light.
- When it is bright enough, my Busia (polish grandmother) can see me. Due to her failing eyesight, a dim candlelit room is not romantic or soothing, it means she is practically blind. When she can see she has joy. And when she has joy, I have joy. For her, light allows her to see the people she loves.
- I was thirteen and we were lost snowmobiling in Michigan at night. Those we followed led us through unfamiliar trails, and crossed lakes with frightening open water. It took all I had to focus on my Dad’s bouncing taillight in the distance. For me, that light was a sign of safety. Of love. While it was important he not lose the locals who were guiding us, he was going slow enough, so I could see the light and not feel alone.
- On my birthday almost twelve years ago, my boyfriend blindfolded me so that he could surprise me. Being in the dark made it hard to interpret where I thought we might be going. But when he took the blindfold off there was a lone candle in the classroom where we first met. He was on one knee and proposed. For me, the light allowed me to see the face of the one I would love for the rest of my life.
So I wonder… are light and love the same thing?
God says yes. And contrary to popular culture, I do not think love is blind.
Love is light. It sees through the darkness. Through the literal darkness… in a moment… in the woods… or in a room. But more importantly light sees through the darkness in all of us. Love does not ignore the darkness. It illuminates it so you can see something for what it really is… and love it anyway. We have a purpose. And the funny thing is that our purpose… is to be the light. And the way to be the light… is by loving others. Unconditionally.
So today God, thank you for light. For creating it and recreating it each day. For using it in literal practical ways to help me see the face of those I love, for lighting the night so I don’t get lost, for ensuring I can see enough not to bump into the corner of that dresser. Again.
But more importantly thank you for using it to remind me that my role in this world is not to be darkness, bring darkness or protect darkness. Rather with each thought, word and action… with the way I prioritize my day and treat those around me… my purpose in this life is to be the light and love the world. One person at a time.
A man who followed God relentlessly and loved others unconditionally, once said and lived by this statement:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Be the light. Be the reason someone is thankful.