What’s the sunrise like in the world where you wake?
Is your view hindered by high building, hard structures or is your inability to see the light a barrier of your own making, a filter because of your unpleasant thoughts based on imperfect circumstance?
All of us, different and yet our days are lit the same way.
Distracted? Disenchanted? Less than optimistic because of imperfection or depression or hard circumstance?
How in the world are our lights supposed to shine when we feel so dull, uncertain or burnt out?
Burned down by our own dimming of our light or worse, someone once again making dark our days, heartbreak despite the glimmer we had of hope.
The country road I take is always busy early.
The curves are predictable now before I see the sunrise. Headlights approach and I steady myself, flip my lights to dim hoping they kindly reply in a soft nod.
Homes are popping up, close together or close to the road, some situated in a low down a path valley.
The road to my daughter’s, the road into town for many has become a community.
I notice the lights on the newest one I like, a modern take on country home. Sleek architecture with clean lines.
Christmas lights, a straight line across the front and one small new tree is curtained in loops of string lights.
I pause and remember my thoughts on such displays, Christmas lights on trees with no sense of order, no symmetry, no design.
No, I don’t want lights outside if we can’t do it right!
My husband asks and I tell him I don’t want lights outside if they can’t be just right, don’t want the display that says hey let’s throw these lights up in the trees and see how they land, see how they shine.
I have always been opposed to such a haphazard plan.
A home near ours has the new idea of lighting that appears to be perfect, fits neatly under the roof line and well, it is perfect. The one perfect tree wears Christmas. It is covered in a mesh overlay of sprinkle.
As neat as a pin, a very quiet display. Set for the season, perfect in a clean and closed fashion to me it seems.
The lights are in place and will shine unchanging til the new year.
A settled and set display on the outside, a view that is unchanging.
I thought of my longing for perfection, my determination to be splendid or nothing at all.
I wondered if the light I display has become so driven towards perfection that I appear unwelcoming.
Or maybe if I’m close to not shining at all.
The Book of Job mentions light twenty-seven times. Job wishes the light would just go away, the darkness made more sense and he longed for death. He wished he had never been born, never seen the light of day.
The light reminded him of his dark place as if to say if I can’t make sense of this time, this place, I don’t want to see it!
“Let its morning stars remain dark. Let it hope for light, but in vain; may it never see the morning light. Curse that day for failing to shut my mother’s womb, for letting me be born to see all this trouble.”
Job 3:3-6, 9-10 NLT
The life of Job fascinates me, the way an undeserving man can suffer such bitter and destructive nonsense, question God, lose everything, experience despair and continue to consider that God might still be God and be good.
“God rescued me from the grave, and now my life is filled with light.’”
Job 33:28 NLT
Maybe we’ll string lights in all the trees this year, spread them out across the shrubbery, the bright orange extension chords undisguised in the day and our front yard a maze of electricity source.
For the glorious display when the darkness comes.
Maybe we’ll have lights again.
Imperfect but bright, this might be our display.
On the mornings I keep my granddaughter, I’m excited for the sunrise where she wakes.
We step onto the back porch all bundled and bright she is.
The rising sun is unobstructed there. The land is wide and the horizon only tops of trees.
Good morning, God! Elizabeth and I say.
The display is always brilliant, takes my breath away.
The same sun rose at home this morning, I almost ignored it.
Stepping outside with the puppy, I realize over my shoulder, the sky is ribbons of magenta, coral, powdery blue.
I snap a photo and then pause to admire the camellias.
I’m remembering the little lighted tree, the imperfect display, obvious in its sparse simplicity.
Simplicity keeps calling me back towards the “color story”.
Simply write it, keep it simple. You’re no theologian, Lisa Anne; but you do have a brilliant story.
Don’t we all?
“Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:15-16 ESV