Over the weekend, my roommate attempted to spray paint our kitchen table chairs. We carried four solid wood chairs down a flight of stairs and set them on a piece of cardboard in the grass outside of our apartment. We proceeded to spray paint them red. It was a DIY nightmare. The spray paint ran and did not cover the chairs evenly. The red was too bright and did not dry well.
She and I stood there and laughed at the failure of what we thought would be an easy afternoon project. The afternoon light showed every imperfection in our failed DIY attempt. I told her, through the giggles, “Maybe if we move the chairs into the apartment, the darkness will hide just how badly they look.”
Some days and even some seasons, I feel a pull towards the darkness. In the darkness, I cannot see the flaws in my beliefs, my actions or my thoughts. I can hide my imperfections and ultimately, myself, which makes it so appealing. My greatest fears and sin struggles can lurk about in the darkness without me having to face them. They’re still real, it’s just that in the darkness, I can’t see them; I can trick myself into believing that they don’t exist. In the darkness, I simply wander about in an abyss of nothingness. There can be comfort in hiding there. I do not have to address my sin or experience shame in the darkness. The deepest, darkest parts of my soul remain hidden from the world.
But God did not intend for His children to live in the darkness.
In the beginning, God created light and declared that light was good. He separated light from darkness. From the nothingness, He created something. Once the light was created, God went on to create plants, animals and mankind. He finished creating by inviting His children into the light (Genesis 1).
Life in the light is terrifying. In the light, my botched attempts at fixing things my way are revealed, and I am forced to acknowledge the darkness of my own soul. I cannot fix myself and there is no place to run. All attempts to hide myself in the light are futile before a God who created the light.
The temptation to run back into the safety of darkness is oh so alluring. No one knows there just how messed up I am. “I can hide here forever,” my soul whispers.
And then, through the darkness, God cries out, “Come follow me, Beloved, I will show you the way. Come live in the light with me, Child, you’ll like it better here. It is harder to live out here in the light, but so much more beautiful.”
My soul cries back, “But in the light, they’ll see me.”
The Creator responds, “You have to be seen to be known and to be loved. It’s time to come out of hiding, Loved One. I want to see you, I want to know you, I want to love you. Follow me. Follow me to live in the light.”
And I follow the voice leading me into the light. The voice assuring me that the light is good and that He is good. Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I find myself wanting to find a shadow to hide from the darkness of my own soul. I want to cover up the imperfections that the light reveals, the brokenness, the scars and the failures. Then the voice cries out confidently, “I see you, I know you and I love you; there’s no need to hide.”Leave a Comment