Light and Darkness

Have you noticed how not all light is equal.  With Incandescent Bulbs being replaced by CFLs and LEDs, many people are wondering – which is best?  http://www.cnet.com/news/light-bulb-buying-guide/

I have 2 computer monitors I use for doing website work, they sit side by side on my desk – it’s amazing the color difference; size, pixels, dots, all spread across the surface, mixing to give me an image, a color – but not all are equal.

What is true light?  When I look at the 2 images, which one is more accurate? What will you see on your screen? How can I represent a color to you, or explain it to you, when I don’t even know if you are seeing it the same as I am?

Light – a very strange thing… particles and waves at the same time.  Colors – represented by the wave lengths of the light we can see, but then there is all the light we can’t see – the spectrum of visible light is very narrow.  And yet, have you noticed how when you are in a dark room, your eyes become ‘adjusted’ to the light and what was once darkness now appears light.  It’s not until things get very dark, darkness like you find in a cave, darkness where light doesn’t penetrate that we see clearly that this is dark, black.  When the tiniest bit of light infiltrates, our eyes can adjust.

When the tiniest bit of light filters through, it illuminates, clarifies, and we begin to see. On the other hand, when darkness encroaches, slowly, ever so slowly – we begin to see it as light and our senses are shattered.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! ~ Isaiah 5:20 ESV

Our senses are shattered…  We see it, we see it in the media, we see it in the ever darker chaos around us, we see it in child abuse, we see it in cruelty, we see it and we are confused.

We laugh and applaud people like Bill Cosby when they mock their alleged crimes: http://www.ibtimes.com/bill-cosby-made-rape-joke-london-show-crowd-cheered-report-1778336.

We laugh as Bill Maher says he’d rather have been sexually abused as a child… “And while we won’t print exactly what he said about Michael Jackson and how it relates to the time Maher was beat up by bullies on the playground in 1968, we can suggest you jump to the eight-minute mark on the video above and watch Maher send Kimmel into uncontrolled giggles.” http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-bill-maher-tackles-paris-attacks-bill-cosby-on-jimmy-kimmel-live-20150108-story.html

We are confused, our senses are shattered.  Addiction to pornography is rampant; human trafficking is flourishing. (NC Ranks 8th in human trafficking in the nation and Charlotte Ranks 6th nationally for sex exploitation of minors.)

Darkness is encroaching – What do we do?  What do we do…  We run to the light, but… not all light is the same.

flowers with blaring light

Sometimes we think light has to be blaring, exposing all, but in Isaiah 58 we read that when we see the naked, we should cover him and we are to not to hide from our own flesh.  What does this mean?  I think it means that we remember that we all have weaknesses, that we remember our own need for a Savior.  We reach out with love and compassion, protecting, bringing hope and restoration, not condemnation.  We bring the healing light of love, the love of a Father who gives His son so we may live, the love of the Son, Jesus, willing to die, willing to bear our punishment, so we may be restored. We bring love as Jesus says, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”  Acts 26:18

And we remember that this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ~ 1 John 4:10 ESV

And that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.  ~ 1 John 1:5 ESV

Tami Munden – February 2015

Helpful Links:

Key Life, Steve Brown’s February Blog:  Where Do You Draw the Line with Grace?

End Slavery In Charlotte:  http://endslaveryincharlotte.com/

Liberate:  http://liberate.org/

G.R.A.C.E.:  http://netgrace.org/

 

Free to Fail

“It is high time for the church to remind our broken and burned out world that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a one-way declaration that because Jesus was strong for you, you’re free to be weak; because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose; because Jesus succeeded for you, you’re free to fail.”Tullian Tchividjian

Free to fail, what a thought!  I grew up very insecure and felt very much like a failure.  I failed again and again at life, at relationships, at about everything I tried, but then I became a Christian.  Lying on my bed one night, I prayed “God I hurt, I can’t take it anymore, I just don’t want to feel anymore – I want to die, I don’t want to go to heaven, I don’t want to go to hell, I want to just not exist.  Please help me, I know this is wrong.” and then I cried myself to sleep.  When I woke up the next morning, I turned over in bed and looked out of the window and saw it was a new day… A new day… and I had hope.  I hadn’t known hope in a long time, but I woke up with it that morning and my life was changed.  God did it; He gave me a gift, the gift of hope!  What joy I felt.

Years have gone by and life has failed me, people have failed me and I have failed them.  I know failure and have come through it, but I still fear it.  The fear of it paralyzes me at time.  I’m not free to speak, to act, to write because I fear failure.  Not only do I fear failure, I fear being rejected, being mocked, being hurt and those fears paralyze me.  I become like the man who hid his talent, buried it in the ground, because he knew that if he lost it… so he just buried it.  That’s me; time after time I bury myself.  I actually picture it – when I’m afraid, when I feel I’ve let people down, when I let myself down, I picture myself crawling into a big hole in my backyard and burying myself.

I read an article recently about letting your children fail and I realize how my fears have affected them – I don’t want to fail, I don’t want them to fail, so I protect them, I shelter them.  I don’t want them to know the hurt, the pain I’ve known, I want them to be happy and to succeed.  I want it for them.  But you know, I also want it for me.  When they fail, I feel like I’ve done something wrong, I’ve let them down, I didn’t say the right thing, I didn’t respond in the right way and I realize I expect perfection.  Not just from them, but from myself.  What a burden I have put on, not only myself, but my family.  I pray that they will forgive me and that I will forgive myself.

But then I look away from myself and I am reminded that God loves me and I love my children.  When they fail, or when they fail my expectations, I don’t stop loving them, I don’t see them as failures, I see them as my children whom I love dearly.  It’s not about what they do or don’t do, it’s about them – it’s about love.

By Tami Munden