“I believe there is within us this image of God…There is something deep within us, in everybody, that gets distorted and confused and corrupted by what happens to us. But it is there as a source of insight and healing and strength. ~ Frederick Buechner
I am reading the book, Mind the Light: Learning to See with Spiritual Eyes, by J. Brent Bill. Brent is a Quaker and my new best friend for the moment. He knows a lot about the Inner Light. In the introduction, he writes, “Even though light is all around us, we often don’t notice it and the difference it can make in our souls. That’s where an old Quaker saying, “Mind the Light”, offers help.”
I love this book. It would take several meditations to even begin to offer a meditation on what he writes in it, but one of his spiritual exercises really grabbed me. It is from the chapter titled, “The Light Without: Seeing Others.” Brent writes about a woman, attributing the story to Dorothy Bass, who asks each night while tucking her children into bed, “Where did you meet God today?” I was pondering this question the day of the Vestry meeting. The meditation that night was…you guessed it…seeing the light of God in others. Hmm…perhaps, God is saying something to me.
As I consider this Light, I think about what the Bible says:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” ~ John 1:1-5
God is Light. Since God created humans in his Image, then somewhere within us that Light still resides. But, as Frederick Buechner says in the opening quote, “that image gets distorted and confused and corrupted by what happens to us.” Perhaps, though, a glimmer might still be there, somewhere.
Well, what about “truly evil” people? Is the light of Christ in them? You might ask. I might ask, too. The Light of Christ is in everyone. Wouldn’t it have to be? If it wasn’t, we would….well that will need to be another meditation or teaching. There is no room to get into that in this meditation, and I’m not sure that I am qualified to answer it, anyway. I will say that perhaps the Light is so suppressed that it can’t get out of a person or even be acknowledged. I really don’t know, but I will consider that possibility. However, we could pray for a crack to open in them for that possibility. Maybe it could be reinforced by those people they meet along the road, which is even more reason for us to pray that the light of Jesus will shine in us.
“Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” ~ John 8:12
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16
Each night as we do our examination of consciousness, along with naming those things for which we are grateful this day and offering our thanks, it might be good for our spiritual lives to consider the question, “Where did I meet God today?” Then, perhaps, if we are up for it, “Did my light shine bright enough that someone might have met God in me?
We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light so lovely that they want with all their heart to know the source of it. ~ Madeleine L’Engle
Grace and Peace, Donna