Light is most effective in the darkness. I toured the coal mine in Springhill, Nova Scotia when I was about twelve. At one point in the tour they turned off the lights. The guide warned us that it was going to be absolutely dark, perhaps darker than we could imagine. Well, I’d closed my eyes plenty of time by then, so I didn’t think too much about the warning.
Then the lights went out!
I had never seen such darkness in all my life. Absolute darkness is not like anything I’d ever experienced. It might have been just a few seconds, it might have been an hour. I know it wasn’t an hour, but it might as well have been. I reached out for a family member, who had been to my right. I felt nothing, except alone, I felt alone.
Then the lights came on!
One small, low wattage lightbulb, and it was glorious. Never so happy was I, to see such brilliance. I felt safe. I felt thankful. I reach for a family member and made a connection. It was great. I appreciate light now, in ways I probably never would have before seeing, ever so briefly, absolute darkness.
Last week, I saw a political cartoon showing Barack Obama leaving the oval office, flicking off the light switch. In the next panel, we see the lights go out in all the United States. A bit too dramatic I guess, because there is light, there is always light. No matter how dark things seem, there is always light. It might be only a low wattage bulb, but the dimmest light defeats darkness.
We are light.
If Jesus is (and he is) the light of the world, then we, as the body of Christ, are bearers of light too. We can be the light of the world by doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.