Light, perspective & a fear of the dark

I woke up this morning wanting to write. I’ve woken up all week wanting to write, but didn’t really have anything to write about.

A lot has happened this week, and most of it has been really sad, so I couldn’t really form words with much distinction.

This morning, I woke up to the distinct light of a fall morning. It’s the kind of light you can only get if half of the sky is cloudy and the other half is clear blue. It’s distinct and the beauty of it floored me.

Light is so cool.

Really, it’s super important.

Vision. How we physically see. The interpretation of light around and through objects in front of us takes up 30 PERCENT of our brain!

It takes a lot to interpret light in our mind and light is constantly changing.

I spend a lot of my time as a photographer. I have to interpret light constantly. Morning light is different than evening light. Light has color hues to it at different angles and at different times. I fear “running out of light” in an evening shoot in our short fall days in the PNW.

When I was a kid, I was plagued by a massive fear of the dark. Most kids grow out of it, but I didn’t. I remember finding myself in a counseling office in my first year of marriage trying to explain to this person in front of me that as a grown adult I am petrified by even the threat of the dark.

I couldn’t leave my house once the sun went down and I definitely could not enter my house alone if the sun had set while I was out. My poor, brand-new husband couldn’t stay out past dark for any reason if I was to be left alone.

The darkness completely overtook me.

I still prefer day to night. But, in my time considering the darkness and its affect on me, I discovered something I did not expect. To this day, I’ve kept it deep in my heart to comfort me when I am afraid.

There is powerful light in darkness.

Have you ever gone on a road trip and found yourself in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night?

Sometimes, I have been surprised by HOW MUCH LIGHT there is in the night. I can remember nights living in Montana in which I was driving and didn’t even need my headlights because the light was so vivid.

Day, night, morning, evening. Light changes so much.

OR does it?

I’ve never been to outer space . . . BUT, I will assure you I have seen LOTS of movies about space. I also lived in Houston when I was a kid, so I basically own N.A.S.A.

There is something strange I have noticed about space: the SUN IS ALWAYS BRIGHT.

There is not night and day and morning and evening for the sun. Because our day and night are based on the Earth’s relationship to the sun.

But, the sun. just. shines.

And, the moon, looks quite dark. It is lit by the sun in space. But, it doesn’t “glow” the way we see it from earth.

The. way. we. see. it.

Isn’t that everything? It’s all about perspective.

Light seems to change because what stands in between US and the SOURCE of light changes.

Clouds come. The Earth shifts and turns. Our vantage point changes tirelessly.

It’s what stands IN BETWEEN that makes it seem like light changes.

I’m gonna make a slightly spiritual jump now, just to prepare you.

In my life, I often feel like things change without my permission and out of my control. Life just goes. Sometimes I feel on top of it and other times, I am left grasping for a hold of what . . . just . . . happened . . .

Sometimes, I feel like I can’t see God and the night in my spirit or circumstance is going to last forever.

I think I feared the dark so much in my life because I was afraid the light would not return. 

I was afraid that the night would last forever.

I have found comfort in realizing that the light itself is not dependent on my vantage point.

I have found peace in realizing that even in the night, the light of the sun is present in the reflection from the moon and shining brightly in space beyond the shifting and turning of the Earth.

I have found peace in realizing that even in the heaviest spiritual darkness, the light of my Creator-Redeemer God is present in the reflection of the people that have given their hearts to Him and is shining brightly in all of heaven and on Earth, even when I don’t see it. 

EVEN IN DARKNESS, the light wins. EVEN IN THE STORM, the light remains, vibrant.

When I realize that all I have to do is look beyond what gets in between, I can see God even in the most hopeless situation.

Perspective is everything because vision is limited by vantage point.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17, NIV)

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