One night while I was driving home, the falling snow made me feel as though I were driving into hyperspace. You know, like being in a space ship in Star Wars, where reality distorts as they jump into a speed faster than light, accelerating into another weave of space. Anyway, the snow was coming at me, but it was not blinding. It was the soft, fluffy lake effect snow that comes from Lake Ontario. But since I was driving into it, it came straight into my windshield. As the snow approached, stretching out into long points of white, I noticed sparkles, glittering diamonds lighting up the road ahead of me. There was one, then four, then ten like I was driving through the glitter on a child's Valentine's card. It's so hard to express the beauty of this feeling, of being in the midst of all this brilliance! I wanted to stop the car and just sit--be immersed in the points of light, but then a snow plow approached from the other direction and the tiny lights vanished.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to give this kind of gift of light to another person, to offer beauty when the grayness of winter is expected? To bring awe while driving through a snow storm?
For Lent this year, I'm reflecting on light. (If you want to receive these daily emails, just let me know.) John Philip Newell has a whole chapter on light in his book The Rebirthing of God. He says: “To be bearers of Light— which is pure gift and not of our own doing— means that we are made to shine. But when we truly shine, and when we work for the true shining of every child, woman, man, and creature, we find that sometimes we create discomfort in the people around us and in the holders of power in our communities and our world. Not only do they feel uncomfortable; sometimes they feel threatened. This is as true in our personal relationships and workplaces as it is in the great struggles of communities and nations. Those who cling to power for their own sake, or for the sake only of their chosen communities and their special interest groups, do not want everyone to shine. The shadow side of power is a determination that only some should shine, and that only some should be considered worthy.” (Newell, John Philip (2014-06-06). The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings (pp. 55-56). Turner Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.)
Newell reminds us that being light bearers is not all glitz and glitter. Working for peace and justice is part of our calling. We are called to sit and contemplate the beauty around us, and we are also called to action, to work for justice. May be find the balance that is needed.