Lighten Our Darkness …
Early one morning during my ‘quiet time’ I looked up and saw the intricate plaster ‘rose’ on the ceiling on which a stainless-steel rod was affixed. I presumed the rod was hollow through which the electric wires ran conducting light to the shaded globe.
Thinking about light my mind drifted to a framed poem that hangs in the same room near the light switch. The poem, by the late American poet Mary Oliver, is also about light. It is entitled When I Am Among Trees and the last few lines always grab my attention. They are,
…you too have come
Into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.
As if to illustrate the point, I noticed later that the winter sun, streaming in the windows, was alighting on the red flowers on a cyclamen plant. The red flowers were glowing.
Recently, one evening when I went outside, I saw something unexpected. Someone in a house diagonally across our street had installed fairy lights on the gable of their home. When I saw the twinkling lights, delight and joy surged in me.
A few days later I marvelled at the light coming from the full moon.
Jesus talked a lot about light. He said, ‘You are the light of the world’. And ‘… let your light shine before others’. Matthew 5: 14 and Matthew 5:16. NRSV.
A true story comes to mind that illustrates this. It can be found in a book entitled Something Beautiful for God written by a seasoned British journalist Malcom Muggeridge. It is his account of the work of the late Mother Teresa and her fellow Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity in India. Together they ran a Home for the Dying where they cared for the abandoned, terminally ill people in Kolkata (Calcutta). Muggeridge and his film crew, and all who saw the documentary after it was made commented on the glow of light that was seen in the documentary,
When the film was made the only light came from ’small windows high up in the walls’.
in his book Muggeridge concluded that he was convinced the ‘glow’ came from the same source as Cardinal Newman refers to in his hymn,
Lead Kindly Light ….
Perhaps Mother Teresa and her Sisters by their love and care were conduits of the same light.
The words of an old prayer echo in my mind.
Lighten our darkness we beseech thee
Light, whatever its source, can give us joy,