The Persian poet Rumi is quoted as saying, “The world is the place where the light enters you.”
I like that perspective. I like thinking about it. Of course I can think of many times when it did not seem to be true, times when the world seemed all wrong, times of discouragement and sometimes anger, times when my self-centredness got in the way. But then there have been many more times when I have felt the Light, the Light of Christ, flowing all around me, entering into me and pouring out again.
It happened just yesterday. A friend is watching her husband die a slow and very painful death. She lives over a thousand kilometres away, so it wasn’t possible to be with her in person but yesterday I picked up the phone and talked with her. And Jesus was there, flowing back and forth through that invisible phone line as we chatted and wept and prayed. His light lifted us both up, took us out of this world of sickness and pain and showed us there is more than what we see with our eyes.
I felt it on another occasion, at a funeral, when a young widow went up on her tiptoes as she described how God was helping her stand, helping her keep her head up and reach for Him in the midst of her pain and sorrow. I saw the Light around her and in her, in us all at that moment.
I’ve heard it in a strain of music that seems to come from the core of heaven itself, watching an Alzheimer’s patient raise her head at the familiar chords of an old hymn. I’ve heard it in the unconscious laughter of a child and the comforting purr of a cat that curls in my lap.
I’ve seen it pour out of a canvass painted six hundred years ago and in the eyes of a marble sculpture that took my breath away. I’ve seen it in the eyes in a portrait sketched in love and now so real it looks like the man is about to talk.
I’ve felt it too as I’ve tapped away on my keyboard, watching the black and white words advance across the monitor, knowing He was choosing the words, He was speaking to me and would speak through me to those who would read them.
“The world is the place where the Light enters you.” Yes, this world, with all its pain and suffering and chaos, with all its muddied waters and infuriating politics. This world, this place where we live, is the place where God has chosen to work, to reveal Himself in all His glory, through all that is created.
And He has chosen to do it through you and me. What a gift! What Mercy! What Grace!
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord” (Psalm 89:15).
“Come … let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5).