the relationship between light and the one with eyes to see

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

As someone who appreciates photography, I find light fascinating. Not so much as something to be manipulated as a resource to work with. I always prefer natural light, and have no interest in washing away color and definition by adding flash.

Without light, it is impossible to see; too much light, and the effect is the same. Seeing, then, is an interaction – a relationship – between the light, the subject, and the one who has eyes to open. All three are in play when we observe the world around us.

Jesus must have been thinking in a similar fashion when he said that he is, “The Light of the World.” Jesus not only is luminescence, he is the one who can open our eyes. Jesus heals our blindness, he brings clarity, he uncovers meaning, he illuminates, and he actually generates the light too.

I often say that the most compelling testimony we can offer is authenticity, and that is exactly what Jesus facilitates. There is no flash with Jesus, no showmanship, no smoke and mirrors, no photoshopping – Jesus is truth that does not need manipulation.

Receive light so we can share it too:

Maybe this is why Jesus also said, of us, “You are the light of the world!” It is impossible to look directly into the source of light, but we can look directly at the moon, which not only holds the borrowed light it also shares it with the world

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Matthew 5:14

We can, then – by spending more time in the presence of Jesus – absorb more and more light to share with a world that needs not only light but eyes that can see. Jesus is willing to fill us with light and love and grace and promise to the extent that it spills out and gets all over everything and everybody around us.

The older I become, the more truth the light discloses. Maybe all those wrinkles, maybe all this patina representing 65 years, maybe the white hair and the loose skin, maybe all this is simply who I really am… a truth increasingly revealed by all that light?

Because, ultimately, this body is going to wear out and return to dust, and the essence of who I am will distill into light.

Listening and seeing:

I think things like this when I take photographs. I process ideas like this when I listen to God. There is no room for anything but love when Jesus both opens our eyes and fills us too.

Here is my latest set of selfies with Max. Max is completely uninterested in flash or pretense or prevarication – he can sniff out inauthenticity in a heartbeat. Max cares about his master, his basic needs, and relationships he can trust.

Smart dog; I believe he sees very clearly – DEREK

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