Monday, May 23, 2011

What is seen in the light

picture by frail0124
The other night I decided to do an experiment.  Not out of boredom, but for a purpose.  It’s blog writing time.  On several occasions in the past I’ve asked for input from my Facebook friends as research for whatever topic I’m focused on.  This time I decided to do my own research for a change.  The topic for the week?  What is seen in the light.  My research experiment?  Shut off the lights and put on a blindfold, then write my post. 

Yes, fellow ponderer, I typed blindfolded.  And I did pretty well, too.  I say that not to boast; it’s because I have used my typing skills almost daily over the past manymany years, and I don’t like having to go back and edit any more than what is necessary.  Here are some of my reflections of my time in the absence of light.  I have left out some of what I wrote, simply because the thought was too random, or the flow of thoughts didn’t make sense or repeated what had already been said.  However, I have not edited for spelling or typing errors, except where I have added a clarification in (parentheses and italics).


Darkness.  Confusion.  How did I become this way?  Mind darting, but nothing to see, nowhere of safety to turnb. (turn)

Unsure of my surroundings, I do not know what isbehind me, next to me, hovering near me.

My vision having failed me, I rely solely on my remaining senses to make sense of my world.  Smell – fragrance? Odor?  It’s always been here; I never noticed, never needed to notice. 

Hearing? The tick-toc-tic-oc of the clock on the wall behind me. The time on its face, useless to me; I cannot read the hands, am unaware of w    cannot comprehend what they are saying to me.

Touch.  The slight raises on the F and J keys assure me that I am typing words, not gibberish, on my compu8ter.  Many tyupos, I am sure, but not pure gibberish.

Taste? The dryness of my mout. The taste of anxiety. Perhaps even fear.

The air in the room  has a coldness to it, a coldness that ought not be present.  Such is the air of being without light. Of darkness.  Of bself-imposed blindness.

I have spent the pasat 30 minutes or so blindfolded. I can see no light.  I cannot see what is seen in the light.

I had my office chair in the middle of the room.  I spun myself around several times.  After I got over the dizziness I stood==.  My objective? To find my way in the dark.  What made it hard? 

I had no point of reference.  I did not know where I was; where I was heading.
I –Walking through my house I have had a heightened awareness of my surroundings.  Not because of what I could see. --, but because of the obstacles I could not see.  The doorways, the moving boxes scattered throughout the house, some with box flaps hanging open.  The coffee table.

There is a light in the room near me, yet I cannot see it.  Because I have been cut off from it, ithe light means very little to me.  It is meaningle
Light is meaningless, until I surrender my blindness to it.
Jesus is meaningless to those who do not surrender their blindness to him.

How long?  How long must I stay blinded? When will I see light?

“Jesus said to the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“I want to see.”

Jesus healed the blind nman at the city gate. Bartimaeus.

Jesus and his disciples went to Jericho.  And as they were leaving, they were followed by a large crowd.  A blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road.  When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”  Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, have pity on me!”

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him over!”  They called out to the blind man and said, “Don’t be afraid!  Come on!  He is calling for you.”  The man threw off his coat as he jumped up and ran to Jesus.

Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The blind man answered, “Master, I want to see!”

Jesus told him, “You may go.  Your eyes are healed because of your faith.”  Right away the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus.
--Mark 10:46-52

Jesus is asl=king, “Mary, what do you want me to do for you  What blindness do you want me to remove?”

Jesus, my experiment and reflections are showing me how lost and alonde I am without you, when I place myself in self-imposed darkness.  Like Bartimaeus, I want to see.  More than seeing, I want to help others to see.  To help them to see their darkness, to bring them into light.  My physical darkness is easy to change, to turn around, to repent of.  Once I make that change the light next to me will then mean something, make sense.  Spiritual darkness, emotional darkness, is not total, unless it iss chosen.  Jesus, You are light of the world. You tell us that we too are the light of the world. I want you to help me to help someone in darkness to make sense of Your Light.

But Lord, that means revisiting the darkness (my darkness).  I didn’t like it there.  I don’t like going back.

“I was there with you. You did not see me; I did not make sense to you. Yet I was there. DARKNESS COULD NOT EXTINGUISH ME. Their darkness cannot extinguish me either.”

I still am wearing a blindfold.  Yet I know there is a light next to me.
And the light somehow makes sense in the dark.


Now, unblindfolded, I see. 
What is seen in the light is making sense.

Monday, May 09, 2011

And they all lived happily ever after...

Just a few weeks ago, the entire world had their eyes turned to England for the wedding of Prince William and the young Kate Middleton. Well, maybe not the whole world. I did not stay up late or wake up early to watch what was happening across the pond, but I did manage to see some of the highlights of the festivities. Events of such a grand scale and exquisiteness as a royal wedding may be excessive, yet people are obviously drawn to them.

I pondered, what it is about these two young lovers tying the knot that holds millions of observers with no connection to them completely agog with every detail of the day? And I came up with a couple of theories.

We like to see good news. In our present day, we are inundated with news stories of natural disasters – earthquakes, tsunami, tornados, flooding – where hundreds of thousands of lives are impacted in the blink of an eye. Not to mention the devastation mankind brings upon itself, through war (even when it is for the right reasons), crime, substance abuse, and abuses toward others. Plus our own personal drama – bills to pay, relationships that don’t work, illness …. You get the idea. There’s something good in seeing people smiling, truly smiling, even if it’s just for a day. (Looking at the picture of the Royal Family on the balcony, apparently the little girl got tired of complying with the “be happy” memo…)

We want to believe fairy tales can happen. Ask any six year old girl what her favorite movie is, and chances are it involves a Disney princess. And what happens in a movie with a Disney princess? The young heroine meets a handsome prince, there is a bit of conflict or tension, they end up falling in love, getting married, and living happily ever after. Of course there are some variations to the story – for example, in Beauty and the Beast the prince was not what most would consider handsome for the majority of the film; Aladdin was a commoner posing as a prince to win the heart of Princess Jasmine. But in the end, love triumphs over all. (By the way, did anyone else notice that the Royal Wedding came complete with a Royal Stepmother? Not implying Camilla is evil or anything like that … just sayin’ …)

As I pondered further, I think there is a deeper reason why we are all so captivated by the royal affair. It may not be easy to understand on the surface, so bear with me as we dive in …

It’s been said that the Bible is God’s love story to His people. Throughout Scripture is the metaphor of the Church, the collective body of Christians, as the bride, with Jesus as the Bridegroom. Back in the days of old, before there was a wedding there would be a time of betrothal. The bride and bridegroom were separated during that time, while preparations were made for the marriage. No matter how simple or elaborate the preparation might be, the bride’s foremost responsibility was to remain faithful during the bridegroom’s absence, for at the end of the betrothal period, he would return. There would be a wonderful marriage ceremony, followed by a glorious feast!

God has placed eternity in our hearts. And He promises those who believe in Jesus eternal life in heaven, our own happily ever after. We, as members of the Church, ought to remain faithful to Jesus as we prepare ourselves and wait in anticipation for the day that Jesus returns for his bride.