In comics there is the symbol of the light bulb above a character’s head to show they have a bright idea. Lightening strikes and there is a huge, bright flash. We flip a switch and a room lights up. In many of the ways we think of light, the illumination is immediate. A stage was dark and then suddenly it is lit.
When we think of our faith shining light, it is often a more subtle, incremental, evolutionary process. It can be an abrupt transformation. But more typically, the light of faith “works” on us over the process of our lives and when we look back we see that we have been changing and being transformed.
Also, when we think of shining our light, as in “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,” the change created may be very slow and gradual. We may not see drastic transformation and receive immediate gratification from our good works. We may be doing good and impacting lives but the world still seems to be going on as is. We may be addressing ourselves to systemic change and advocacy, but not seem to see any wins. Change can be extremely slow when it comes to institutions and society. The fact is, we may be serving others and the world in a dedicated manner and never really see much of the fruits of our labors. Maybe we get a “thank you” here or there, but we may not see any real change.
That is how it is with light. Yes, it can be drastic and dramatic. But it can also be slow and emergent. Here we may think of dawn or twilight. The change in light is gradual, subtle, and slow. We may not even notice that change is happening – until we realize, “Oh, it’s day time.” Or, “Oh, it’s dark outside.” We may not see the effects of the light in our lives or in the world in dramatic ways on a regular basis. Sometimes we have to look carefully, attune ourselves to minute shifts, take a long view.
So don’t be discouraged if you don’t see your faith producing sudden, dramatic change in your life, the lives of others, or the world. The light sometimes creeps in, virtually unnoticed.
Prayer: May we welcome the Light of the Divine and let it show us the way. Amen.
In your journal, think about how the Light has created change in your life over time.
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