The Light of Spring

The Herald-News
June 5, 2013

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

From a second-story back window of my home a striking early light highlights the top of our nearby dogwood tree. At its most stunning moment—before the fullness of sunrise engulfs the entire tree—a selective sun touches only a portion of the top. It is a streak of brilliance piercing the sleepy, awakening dawn. Those two mornings last week were more of spring’s delights.

Like you, I enjoy the sweeping, panoramic sunrises and sunsets. Sometimes light is bold, but I am drawn to the subtle, unheralded appearances of light: a focused ray on a leaf; a sunbeam on the water’s edge. I think this love comes from the season of my younger life when I spent a lot of time in the Everglades. It is grand and panoramic for sure, but the snapshots I remember the most were in the small things—the delicate pink of roseate spoonbills, understated purple of wild orchids, or the fresh green of new sawgrass—all spotlighted by the sun.

In visual art forms there are many important components, including composition, color, subject, position, and contrast. But none compares to light. See where your eyes are drawn in the paintings of the masters. In the stone age we loaded actual film into the camera, and the instructions told us to center our subject, being sure the sun was behind us. Wrong. Blinding light washes out detail—and eyes. How much stronger a picture when one side is highlighted and the attention is to only a few details such as hair or glowing eyes.

Light is an important biblical symbol. Jesus is the Light, and He pierces the darkness of a world that has rejected God’s rule and reign. Like visual light, He reveals, heals, and shows the way. Soon, the prophet notes He will usher in a day when “… the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.”. And, “The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.”

No forest, mountain range, Hubble photograph, sunrise or sunset can compare to that great time!

The singer sings, “I will worship you while I am waiting.” Join me and we’ll wait together, glancing long at the many gifts of creation’s light. Most of all, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (John 12:36).


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