Excerpt from Twinkle
I have a theory—about the effect of light on darkness.
Not long ago I was looking for a dark place to test my theory. So I grabbed a pack of matches, the ones I use to light my sometimes romantic but always soothing bath candles, and headed into my closet. I shut the door, turned out the light, and peered about in the darkness. Nothing. Darkness is a weird thing. Even if I opened my eyes WIDE, I just couldn’t see anything. Zip.
Then I struck a match. Where there had been darkness—impenetrable, dense, and black—there was now light. Suddenly I could make out the contents of my closet. Shoes. Shirts. Laundry on the floor. Under the hanging garments, a pile of stuff to give away. Just as the match started to scorch my fingers, I blew it out. Darkness returned.
Voilá. Just as I suspected. Light changes the very nature of darkness. With the smallest dot of light, images become evident, shapes are revealed. Darkness withdraws in the presence of light.
We live in a dark world. Tsunamis. Terrorists. Hurricanes. Child molestations. Pornography. Both globally and personally, we live in a dark world. I have faced seasons of darkness where I have bumped into unrecognizable objects. Divorce. alcoholism. Death. rebellion. rejection. Infertility. Homosexuality. Unemployment. Cancer. Learning disabilities. Drugs. Tragedy. Legal issues. Transitions. Teen pregnancy. abuse. Through my own choices or the choices of those I love, darkness has hemmed me in, threatening to snuff out any source of light. In such moments, I’m left to feel my way blindly along walls that seem to lead nowhere.
I need the light of hope. I need to know that I can find my way to someplace less dark. and I’m not alone in this need. You and I are a hope-dependent people. We live in a world that longs for the light of life.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. . . . In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:1–2, 4). Way back in the beginning of everything, God’s first act of creation was to bring light into the darkness. “Let there be light,” he pronounced in Genesis 1.
Into the darkness, God brought light. And our world has been forever changed. After a long night, morning comes, bringing the sun’s rays into our days. Light beckons us into stores and restaurants. It allows us to read and work. It shines over operating tables, enabling a surgeon to repair the wounds of life. It glows in a baby’s room at night, promising the safety of love nearby. It illuminates the pavement as our car glides down the freeway, lighting the way home.
Light changes our world. And it changes us. God has brought physical light into our world, and through his Son he brings spiritual light into our lives. And now, we who have this light in us are called to shine his light in such a way that those around us see the light and are drawn to its source. In Philippians 2:14–16, Paul writes to this group of first-century believers, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.”
Get it? What a contrast God’s light in us is against the inky blackness of the dark sky! as effortlessly as a star hanging in the night sky, our light makes a difference simply because of what it is: LIGHT! When we shine, we hold out the Word of life to a world in deep need. When we shine, we draw others to the source of our hope. Even a single speck of light alters the very nature of darkness. So . . . twinkle, twinkle, little star! Shine the hope of light into this dark world!