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.
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.
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.
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.
I pulled up a chair and positioned it to face the bright sun. Then I settled in to enjoy its warm illumination.
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.
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.
A once-dark corner of our house where the sun never shone was now flooded with light.
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 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.
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?