You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, so live your life as children of light. Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. Ephesians 5:8-9
I have a never-ending fascination with light. All it takes is one tiny splash of sunlight on something and I can’t stop staring at it. If I have my camera handy, time ceases to exist as I capture whatever is being graced by the light for as long as the moment will allow. I especially love it when I run across a single leaf in the woods catching a ray of sun that doesn’t touch anything else. It’s pure magic when that happens. But – there lurks an embedded paradox, because I am only spellbound by light that is illuminating something otherwise surrounded by darkness. More light is not better. If I were to step out into the brightness of a sunny day, the light loses a significant part of its appeal, and photography on a sunny day is generally a waste of time. What this has taught me is that the best light, is light that is defined by darkness; and that shadow and light working together are magnificent dance partners.
So how does that play out theologically then? If we are advised to live in the light, and if the goal is all light and no darkness, does that mean an ultimate sacrifice of our definition and our appeal? I don’t have an answer for that. But since no one has managed thus far to achieve all light and no dark, I would imagine that it’s a moot point. Biblical reminders to seek the light imply that we are coming from the dark. Biblical reminders to seek the light imply that we are prone to bounce back and forth between the dark and the light. It would seem then that the darkness is pretty much guaranteed – otherwise there would be no need for biblical reminders to seek the light. That’s how things seem, but what I know for sure is that catching a ray of light when everything around me is dark is the most grace-filled experience I can imagine; time ceases to exist as I soak it up for as long as the moment will allow, and sometimes I even feel that the darkness is totally worth the grace of the light.