Let there be light!

I’m no scientist, but I’m fascinated by the complexity of the world around us and by the spiritual applications often found in the natural world.

After school the other day, my 6th grader was sharing what he’d learned about the properties of light while watching a video of Bill Nye the Science Guy. “White” light, my son explained, isn’t white at all.  It’s a mix of color. When light passes through water  or a prism, refraction separates that light into colors.

“It’s weird,” he said. “Mad crazy!”

What’s weird is how God can mix difference into oneness. Color-filled light appears white to accomplish His purposes. The result is beauty, warmth and illumination. People have a way of screwing up such things. We lack the natural ability to be both distinct and unified. Our efforts — like kindergartners overlapping water colors — promote sameness and, ultimately, darkness.

Even Christians aren’t always willing to become less in order that together we might be more. Too often, we simply want to surround ourselves with people who are just like us.

Years ago, I showed up for a church-sponsored neighborhood outreach on Saturday morning only to be told I first needed to remove my lipstick. The church organist (who could have used a little make-up herself) insisted. No warmth. No transparency. Darkness!

Yet, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” Our lives should reflect that. We’ll never do it perfectly, but the hope of providing a glimpse of the Christ who lives in us is a worthy goal.

If the world’s a dark place, maybe it’s time to shine. We are, after all, the light of the world.

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