Live in Light


It begins with light.

No, rather it begins with darkness, but the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out. He came to his own people — to us — but we were in darkness and the darkness was complete, for in us there was no light.

And I looked, but I could not see, until he mixed up some clay and pressed it on my eyes.

“What do you see?” he asked, and waited. I could hear the cicadas droning in the trees, felt the blood pounding in my ears, a dog barked somewhere in the village, feet shifted near me and I heard the murmur of voices.

“I can see . . . people,” I said, and cleared my throat. “But they look like trees. Nothing is clear. . . Yet.”

At that, he smiled. I saw him smile! He pressed clay on my eyelids again and I felt the cool touch of his hands on my face.

“And now?”

At that, the light poured in and his face snapped into focus. Behind him I could see other faces, people whose bodies cast hard shadows under their feet, for the sun was almost directly overhead and the cicadas filled the silence under the brassy sky. I closed my eyes, for the light fell like shards of glass and I called out to my friends because I did not know what they looked like, but when I heard their voices, gasping and laughing, I knew where they were and I laughed too. The darkness, again, was familiar, but I wanted to see and to see my friends, and I opened my eyes. They were around me, brushing the mud smears from my face, and by their voices I could see who they were, finally.

It was by hearing that I saw.

He told stories and we listened. To be honest, most of it went right over my head.

“No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lamp stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.”

Everybody knows that a lamp is for light. Without light it’s just a piece of clay. That much I knew.

“I am the light of the world,” he said. So this is what he was doing: he was lighting the world and he would not be hidden. The light is here, right now! Everything will be seen for what it is; the secrets that people have hidden will be revealed; all will be in light. Pay attention! If you can truly listen you already have much and those who can listen with attention will be given much more. But if you cannot listen, if your attention is only on yourself, and if what you want to say stops up your ears, then you will lose even what you have.

That came after the parable of the sower and after we asked him to explain. Those who hear the word and hold it fast with an honest and good heart are good earth, good humus, good humans. Holding it fast with patient endurance, that’s what it takes. It begins with hearing the word and seeing the light.

“So let your light so shine among them, let your light so shine,” he said. “Let your light so shine among them that they may see your good work and may know that it comes from the Father of lights.”

And we who sat in darkness saw a great Light and that Light was the light of the world.

(Photo: Ying Chouhan,

Elaborated Spontaneity #8

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