“There are two kinds of light—the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”
We see it a lot in faith circles. There are those who hit the mark instinctively and often, and there are those also who never quite harness the distinct call of love and good grace God has called them to.
The former is Spirit-filled, yet the latter is never quite surrendered to the Spirit. (I think I can talk in these terms for it’s a highly visible phenomenon in the church and beyond. And to not make too finer point about it, we all feature for both at different points.)
A Glare That Obscures
My wife’s photographic editing is an interesting process to watch, particularly when she must deal with sunny days and the harshness of excess sunlight on her exposures. Too much light—a luminance too far out of balance—is not good. Much of the colour of love and grace is washed out by bullish light.
From a relational viewpoint, too much ‘light’ means there’s too much raw truth to deal with; it becomes offensive. It’s like the process of hardening steel. If we don’t temper it to make it not only super-hard but tough also, it can shatter when it’s under load.
Relationally, we don’t want our relationships shattering for want of a taste of love and grace.
Too much light also means we can’t see the thing (or the relationship) for what it is. We don’t see the truth. We don’t see it in all its glory.
The Right-Sized Glow of Gently Appropriate Luminance
Balance is a fine word, but I often feel I’m overusing it; the truth, however, subsists majestically in balance.
When we want to shed light on any situation—physical, relational or spiritual—we always want to position it in the best and most even of light. This is the light that will enhance and augment, never detracting... never too much or not enough.
And our eye always tends to know what’s just right. That’s what the faith-life is about: getting the right balance of truth in all our works of good grace.
This is God-light. It is poised in the momentary perfection of kindness, balance and grace.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.