My son buries his eyes into the cleft of my neck. I drink in the sweetness of his morning, feel the fullness of his smooth cheek on my skin. Lifting his sleep-sand eyes toward the light, he shakes his head, moans, and then shoves them back into my neck.
He’s not ready for the new-day brightness. Not ready for the light.
The scales of darkness fall from my baby’s brown eyes, and he begins to adjust. Adjust to the white-light that makes us squint when we step from the night into the day. From the dark into light.
I know this feeling. This moving from dark into light. I reflect on my own black wounds. The times when it was easier to face the dark than the light. Chin deep in my own charcoal humanity. My own morality shading my eyes from the light. Depression so dark and deep the light seemed to never come.
It’s hard to bear the white-brightness when I’m so used to the dark.
Job, the Bible man steeped in more sorrow than seems possible to bear, asked, “Why is light given to one burdened with grief, and life to those whose existence is bitter?” We are not alone in our questions.
If the light is so good, so powerful, so healing, why do we want to stay in the dark?
Because light is also painful. Light reveals. It reflects the deep scars and the wounds. Or sometimes, it penetrates to the secret places where we bury our lies—our sin. The shadows seem safer. It’s as if pain can’t find us there. Memories can’t find us there. Conviction can’t find us there.
Joy can’t find us there either.
Because if we choose the comfort of darkness, we miss the beauty light reveals.
And one day, we realize we cannot escape the light. It cannot be hidden. Eventually, we must face it. Take a candle into a dark night and you will find your way. Light cannot hide because light illuminates.
Rainbows. Blue skies. Glimmers upon ocean waves. The smiles of those you love. What beauty would be visible without the glow of a light?
You may want to argue: oh, but the night is beautiful. But what beauty in the night can you witness without the candle, the stars, the moon, the city lights? What is left, if not for the light?
Because no matter how much we believe the dark is our safety, no matter how much the brightness burns our eyes and pains our souls—we crave the light. At our deepest core, we yearn for the hope light brings. And what we really ache for is the source of this light. Jesus.
Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
But in our darkest struggles and most immense pain we do our best to shut out the Light. Instead of pressing into our Jesus, we cling to the suffering.
What incredible courage it takes for our choice to step into the light. Because stepping into the light, our Savior’s arms, requires we let go of the darkness we are trying to hold onto with withering hands.
Oh my dear friends, step into the Light. Press into Him. Take shelter in His white-brightness. Cling to Him and not the dark. For in His light, you will find His peace that passes all understanding. Light disperses darkness. It reveals the shadows in order to bring significance and meaning to our lives.
The Light of our sweet Jesus brings hope. The hope that one-day our darkness will fade away forever. And His promise is—it will. Darkness will be destroyed and who wants to be left in the shadows?
Have you ever looked straight in the yellow-orbed sun and then looked away, still to be blinded by its incredible glow? Stare into the Son long enough and even when you turn away, you will still see Him.