Sunday, December 11, 2011

The armor of light

“I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.”  Annie Dillard

My love affair with "shafts" or "puddles" of light is told over and over in journals since I was a child and even in my blog posts.  I've spoken of it many times and perhaps wondered if (in addition to the crushing of my brainstem and spinal cord) I became so much more ill when I moved into the basement of my parent's home because I was buried in a way from the one thing that helped me survive and grow just a little.  Since our move in late June I was so often curled up in my room, a place with literally no natural light, holding my head with the soul sapping pressure begging for relief and praying, yes, for a breeze from the outdoors or a spot of sunshine to remind me LIFE is LIGHT. 

Since my surgery, for the first time in my life, I have become a night owl.  I think it may be the prednisone I am on for recovery, but I am up for hours past what would be my normal bedtime.  Because of this and my lack of parental responsibilities while here alone I woke very late this morning with the warmest, brightest beams shining in my room across my bed, my face and my heart.  After I remembered where I was and assessed my pain level (much higher today for some reason in the top right hole in my head where the screws were) my thoughts were drawn to my Savior, the light of the world, sent in a time of great darkness and hopelessness.  People had been waiting so long for their Messiah.  When would He finally arrive?  How would He come?  Would they know Him when they saw Him?  What would salvation really look like? 

I understand in many ways how discouraged they had become.  Since my pain became so debilitating I completely quit trying to put on the armor of light at all.  Frankly, I don't think I could even lift it.  Remember the Valley of Vision?  It's often in the darkest places the glimmer of light is most visible and most valuable.  We HAVE to walk through the darkness to appreciate the light when it comes.  It will come.  It always comes.  He IS the light.  He IS life. 

"Then Jesus spoke to them saying, 'I am the light of the world.  He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'"  John 8:12

In this Advent season I am missing our nightly family ritual of lighting candles and reading and singing about the hoping and the waiting.  I am expectant alone here in this beautiful quiet place God has given me to rest.  To really celebrate and put back on the armor of light He has asked me to live in valley of the shadow of great suffering for a very long while.  For years He has been gently teaching me darkness is not a place or time in history or a circumstance too heavy to bear, it is THE WAY into His glorious light. 

Put on the blanket of truth. Put on the mantle of hope. Put on the armor of light.  Cast off all those other things during this season that hinder you from putting yourself in His beam and resting awhile.

"But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT."  II Peter 2:9

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