Reflections after reading the December 1 excerpt from Malcolm Guite’s Waiting on the Word
I contemplate the paradox of our lives born into darkness and yet light. We are in darkness as we are void of knowledge or understanding about the world, our Maker, and even ourselves. We are in light as we are created in the Imago Dei. The Great Light is our Creator and we are made in His image and likeness. Enter in the will.
We are created on purpose, with a purpose and a divine plan for that purpose. We are created by a Maker that designed us for relationship with Him and our fellow creatures. Since we cannot be forced to love or else it is no love at all and because our Maker did not want mere robots we are given a will and the ability to choose. We choose wrongly thus darkness enters.
Despite the darkness of our sin there is that spark of the Imago Dei that was deposited within us at our creation and it seems that very spark seeks to draw itself to even more light until we are face to face with the Light of the World. This first spark is what I think of in reading George Herbert’s poem The Glance. The first glance from our Maker was at our creation. However the moment our will goes against God, it leads us into the hiding as Adam hid. In regard to this hiding as Guite notes in regards to Herbert’s poem there is this tension between hiding and seeking. There is this conflict between darkness and light.
The good news is this:
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome itJohn 1:5
After reflecting upon Guite’s discussion of Herbert’s poem, I recalled a vivid image the Lord revealed to me that inspired the poem I penned below. The image was a dark canvas if you will that stretched as far as the eye could see. There were pin pricks of light breaking through. Then there were punches that allowed even more light. The pin pricks were glimpses of God and the punches were gazes. Discovering Herbert’s poem entitled The Glance thrilled my soul as I saw this common thread of Truth that predates the glimpses granted to me by the Holy Spirit.
Canvas of Truth
When I consider the stars
Dark infinite canvas
Glimpses of light
Glimpses of truth
Piercing the night
Something is torn
Pain rips a hole
Yet through that pain
Greater light shines through
Not a glimpse, but a gaze
Piercing the darkness
Truth adds to truth
Even darkness becomes light
Basking in the truth
Of this canvas’ Creator
It is interesting and most consistent with what I know of our Lord that those gazes seem to accompany the hard seasons. In my youthful naivete I would likely have been tempted to forgo the gazes to prevent the accompanying pain. My flawed almost superstitious thinking was if I don’t see the gazes then nothing bad will happen to those I love. The reality is we live in a fallen world where pain and darkness exist, but our loving Creator gives us these gazes to sustain us through the pain.
This brings to mind a conversation I had with my Daddy about life and death. I thought it peculiar that every time a baby was born it was near a death in the family. I confessed my dear to my Dad. “I think babies are wonderful Daddy, but it makes you not want any to come so you don’t have to give up someone you love.”
Dad pointed out that my thinking was not in order. “No , Shelly it’s the other way around. Death will come. Those who pass on will leave, but God gives us new life in babies to show hope still lives.” [God is faithful as we bid Daddy farewell to his heavenly rest in July we welcomed my nephew James Knox this October. ]
Which brings us inadvertently to our advent theme. The darkness was in the world, but the light would not be overcome. So our Great Light, our Creator, Maker ,Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah, Heavenly Father, The Great I Am saw fit to send us a baby that would not only show us hope lives despite death and darkness, but this very baby would defeat death.
Oh Christ child what a glorious gaze of light. That we may gaze upon your face and you gaze into ours so we may fully know and understand how loved we are by you. So in the darkness of advent we wait expectantly for the Hope that is the Light of the World.
Come Lord Jesus, Come