Thursday, January 29, 2009

More on the light

(Image of our Sun taken from web. Credit: NASA; Skylab)
Irony = planning to write about the light today and then waking up to a deep gray rainy morning. Even dog-walking got put on the back-burner and I languished in bed well beyond my usual 6:30.

But of course it is still light. No amount of cloud cover can stop the truth of it.

There's a story I like to tell about a trip we took with the children to Colorado. We took one of those "old abandoned gold mine" tours. The train took us about a half mile into the heart of the mountain and - what with a few elbow turns along the way - we came into contact with dark on a level I'd never experienced before. Our guide turned off all the lights until there was just one remaining.

Then he stood on a chair.

"Close your eyes and put your hand two inches in front of your face," the guide said. "Keep them closed. Now I'm going to turn out the single remaining light and I want you to open your eyes after I count to three. One... Two... Three...."

I've got to tell you the result was shocking. Not only could we not see the hand in front of our face we could see absolutely completely nothing at all. It was like there was nothing in existence any more except sound and there wasn't much of that because we were all too nervous.

About thirty seconds later - and thirty seconds is a looooonnnnng time - our guide told us all to be perfectly still and to be completely quiet because he was going to light a single wooden match. When he did the effect was amazing. We could see everything. We were in a cavern about the size of a 300 seat auditorium and there wasn't a cubic foot of the space that wasn't at least somewhat illuminated.

Well, our guide got the "WOW!" element he wanted, the tour was a success, nobody found any gold, and we all went on our way. But my mind couldn't stop working. I thought about the devastating effect even one small spark of light will always have on darkness. "The light shines in the darkness," the Living Bible phrases verse 5, "and the darkness can never extinguish it."

Here's the really cool part. Even though the wooden match produced "artificial" light, it turns out that the phosphurescent energy that illuminated our cavern was still simply a conduit for the power of the sun. All energy is derived from sunlight. Energy absorbed, stored, recalibrated, reconstituted, unearthed, transformed, released via a thousand different pathways...

Right back at the beginning of John's Gospel there's some discussion regarding the role of human beings who feel called to play the part of the match in a dark cave. "There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light..."

This is the life force DYNAMITE that was resident in and through God even before the very beginning, and it is at the heart of everything – all creativity; all joy; all life and discovery and goodness and verve.

Oh yeah, it's still raining here; more fuel for the beautiful Spring to come.

1 comment:

Naomi said...

Very nice daddy! I remember that blackout nervousness!