How to light a dark corner

February 26, 2014 — 2 Comments

I’m a natural morning person and one thing I love about getting up early is seeing the long rays of sunlight as they wake the world to another day.

11 2 10 dawn and dew 006

And one of the luxuries of keeping the Sabbath is being able to stop and enjoy the morning light. In the winter when it’s too cold to go outside, I’ll find the sunniest place in the house and sit there, praying, reading, reflecting.

I'm like a spring flower turning to the sun

I’m like a spring flower turning to the sun

Last month I discovered a new morning spot in our house. Like most Moroccan homes, our dining room is not conveniently placed next to the kitchen. Instead, it’s on the other side of the house to separate the cooks from the guests. And it is also sized for a large extended family.

Half of our dining room filled with our local extended family

Half of our dining room filled with our local extended family

Of course it’s too big for two people, so weeks can go by without me having any need or desire to use the room. Then one Sabbath I happened to be in the back of the house and noticed the morning light streaming into the dining room.

dark corner IMG_9707

I pulled up a chair and positioned it to face the bright sun. Then I settled in to enjoy its warm illumination.

dark corner IMG_9708

But after a while I sensed there was something not quite right. Then I realized I was facing in the wrong direction. To catch the morning sun I should be pointing east and not west.

the sun rising in the east

the sun rising in the east

Yet there I was facing west. How had the sun turned itself around?

I looked up and saw the answer. A few years ago our neighbors closed their upper terrace with reflective glass. What I was seeing was not the sun (still thankfully rising in the east) but the sun reflecting off a western window, like a mirror.
dark corner IMG_9709

A once-dark corner of our house where the sun never shone was now flooded with light.

dark corner IMG_9808

As I basked in the sunlight reflecting off the glass, I marveled at the power of the sun and the capacity of the glass to reflect it. I remembered what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image. — 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

The glass doesn’t create the light. It doesn’t even have to make any effort to reflect the sun’s brightness. The sun is the source.
dark corner 10 24 10 spain 044

The only way the glass can prevent the light’s reflection is if it becomes coated with dirt and dust. No wonder Jesus told us not to worry about the plank in our brother’s eye and only to worry about the speck in our own. Tiny specks of dust and dirt crowded together can block the power of the all-powerful light.

dark corner IMG_1472

To reflect the light of Jesus into the dark corners of the world around me, I need to let the Holy Spirit into my dark corners first and wash my heart clean.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
… Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
–Psalm 51: 7, 10

Then God’s light will shine boldly through me although I may not always be aware of how far His rays of grace extend.


Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and His glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah 60:1-3

What about you? What dark unreached corners in your world does God’s light reflect into? And when was the last time you washed your spiritual windows?

2 responses to How to light a dark corner

    Habib and Ruth Iskander February 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Your dining room holds many light-filled memories for us! Beautiful thought—reflected sunlight extends the sun’s joy-giving, health-giving rays into dark corners! Maybe corners we’ll never know they are entering! The reminder that reflecting takes no work, I find very free-ing. Just takes my allowing the Shepherd of my heart to keep it clean! The pictures you added were beautiful, too!

    This is a story from Rjukan, Norway that used reflectors to give light in the six months when their small town was dark.

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