My husband and I have this ongoing thing about lights. I generally prefer well lit rooms and turn on all lights, even if I can see what I’m doing without all of them on (and I’m not very good at turning them off when I leave a particular room). After spending decades under the bright lights of operating rooms, Jim prefers softer lighting. Around our house, it is more common for him to walk in a room and turn lights off rather than on. If I buy light bulbs I buy 60 or 70 watt; he buys 45 watt. (We probably have way more lightbulbs in reserve than the average household of 2 so if you ever are in need, let me know.)

In the recent Texas Power Grid Debacle, we gathered up every candle from around the house to give light to our living room and dining room for us to function. And for once, we agreed that the lighting was perfect! Or at least the best we could make it given the circumstance. And in the midst of a crisis, the lighting provided a calming effect for us both.

Since then, I’ve been making an effort to turn on fewer lights, to let the natural light that comes through the windows be enough. Early in the morning when my writing brain is best, I’ve been lighting a candle on my desk (I did manage to catch some paper on fire as I as getting used to the candle being there, but I think I’ve learned my lesson now). Instead of just automatically adding light, I’m intentional about my light choices. It may sound silly, but I’m enjoying this awakened awareness of light.

Throughout the stories of our faith ancestors and the writers of the good news story of Jesus, light is a common theme. It is the first thing we are told that God speaks into order and then called good1. Jesus refers to the people who follow him as walking in the light and those who don’t as being in darkness and says, “I am the light of the world” and then he tells us we are the light of the world and that we need to let our light shine so others can see, too!

Rest in God’s light knowing that in the darkest of times, we are not alone and can help each other see light and hope and love and compassion.

How can we all better reflect God’s light so our journey is illuminated by love?

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