To walk in light

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Kay Wilson writes about being afraid of the dark as a child: “I always wanted a night-light so I could see if anything or anyone was in the room that might cause me harm.” All these years later Kay still has a night-light but “for a different reason. Without the light I ... run the risk of stubbing my toes or falling.” Her point, reflecting on 1 John 1:5-7, is that “light brings clarity and allows me to see what is otherwise unseen.”

I know from experience that light can also overwhelm. I have a photo of Thor's Well, a feature on the Oregon Coast where waves at high tide rush onto a shelf of basalt just south of Cape Perpetua and put on a dynamic show of sound and spray. I wanted to capture a particular effect, the way that waves rushing into this hole create the impression of a waterfall in the middle of the ocean. But a slow-shutter setting on a bright September morning captures too much light, washes out the image. Instead of waterfall, my first photo was all bright white.

God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. But I sometimes live in the darkness, and I am frequently surrounded by it. So even though I need the light, it can be overwhelming. Too much.

Kay reminds us that walking in the light is to “walk in blessed obedience with clarity of the truth ... [to] walk in a manner consistent with the character of God.” Kay also reminds us that walking in the light is to “walk in fellowship with the Father and with each other.” What if this asks too much? What if it overwhelms? What if instead of being able to see more clearly, we are blinded?

Kay reminds us that we can pray: “God fill me with your light and then give me the strength to walk in it.”

And God does.

Eric Muhr