“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light”

Because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” – John 1:78-79

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. – John 12:46

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light. – Palm 18:28

His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise.
    Rays of light flash from his hands,
    where his awesome power is hidden. – Habakkuk 3:4

For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth. – Ephesians 5:9

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day. – Proverbs 4:18

– work by Cézanne

Post-impressionist artist (1839-1906) Paul Cézanne (one of the top-ten artists I would love to feature in my – fictitious – gallery) is well-know for painting the same subject over and over while exploring different light, perspective, color, etc.

This is how I am beginning to feel about the azalea and dogwood in our front garden. I share photographs one day, then the next the light is different, or the distribution of blooms has shifted, or I am walking from a different direction, or the sun is shining directly in the lens.

So I pull out my camera and it is all brand new again.

This is part of the wonder of creation, and also of perception. There is this constantly-in-motion interface between what is, what is becoming, what we perceive, what we expect, and how we see.

Jesus often talked about how clearly – or otherwise – we see.

I like to walk sometimes before first light. Then, as morning begins to ease over the horizon, more and more comes into focus. Outline, shape, and then color. And I wonder sometimes if color even exists absent the light? Is it that light reveals what is already there or does light, to some extent, participate in the creation of what we then see?

Seeing is an interaction, is it not, between the acuity of our vision and then the addition of light? Knowing that God has brought life into being is only a start; inviting light into our experience is necessary if we are to move beyond feeling around in the dark and into real life. I feel that this interactive relationship with God I am continuing to explore makes that kind of difference.

What I’m talking about is keeping our eyes open. We may not be able to paint like Cézanne, but we can always learn to look more deliberately, to seek a more nuanced view of this world, to invite God to open our eyes and to fill us with light, to see more clearly.

His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise.
    Rays of light flash from his hands,
    where his awesome power is hidden.

– Habakkuk 3:4

Brilliant as the sunrise!

commentary faith garden life photogrpahy

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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