Genesis 1:15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
The sun and moon give light, but only to those who have eyes. The light that covers the whole earth gives no vision to the sightless or to those who close their eyes. God’s gift to us, then, is both light and sight, he gives the resource and the receptors to access it, but he leaves with us the choice to welcome it or turn from it. Like so much in this relational world, there must be giving and receiving, God’s blessing and our embrace of it. Some invitations from God are more natural, easy, pleasurable, clearly beneficial, while others are hard, frightening, distasteful, even painful, but never harmful to our true selves.
Every gift is a blessing, but also carries the sting of harm if it is mishandled. We can open our eyes to the light but still choose to use our sight to take detours into the muck of this world. Every resource has this spiritual binary. Life is a series of steps that lead us in the way of life or of decline. When we align ourselves with God, when we “walk in the light,” the world becomes one great resource of good for us, though that good may come in the form of challenge rather than delight.
The beauty of this spiritual dynamic lies here, that the more we step into the light, the more the light surrounds us and infuses us so we shine out more on the world around us. Goodness breeds more goodness, in us and through us, and wonderfully back to us again as well. We are blessed when we choose to bless: kindness and mercy and love are returned to us, honesty and generosity are reciprocated, not always, but as a rule.
When it is not returned, it refines our character, purifies our love, making it more unconditional and true, and when it is returned, it encourages and strengthens our purpose. When the response is cold, we draw on our faith reservoir, and when the response is warm, our reservoir is refilled with these faith validations, reminding us that love always bears fruit, even when unseen. Those sweet responses are blinks of light to show us we are still on the path of blessing.
Lord, I often put up walls of protection against the harshness of the world, or potential harshness that I fear. It is such a risk to offer love, turning the softness of my heart towards the potential for gentleness or for piercing. Give me wisdom to know my own limits so that I don’t recoil from the way of love over a glut of wounding. Give me courage to take the love risks I am able to bear at this stage in my journey. Send me some sweet responses to strengthen my weak faith.