He was afraid of the dark. He cried and so his parents put a night light in his room. With the warm glow of a few watts, he was comforted and went to sleep. From early childhood, we believe that if there is light coming into us,we will be OK. We somehow think that our sense of well-being comes from outside ourselves.
But Barbara Brown Taylor, in a recent article in the Christian Century, tells of a man who helped her see a deeper truth. In his book, And There Was Light, Jacques Lusseyran, a blind French resistance fighter during WWII, wrote about going blind as a child. Only 10 days after he went blind, he made a discovery that influenced the rest of his life. "I had completely lost the sight of my eyes; I could not see the light of the world anymore. Yet the light was still there. . . . The source of light is not in the outer world. We believe that is is only because of a common delusion. The light dwells where life also dwells: within ourselves." (The Christian Century, April 2, 2014)
"The light dwells where life also dwells: within ourselves." I sometimes lament how much time I have spent in my life expecting light to come from the outside of myself. How much time I have wasted waiting for someone else to affirm my worth? How many insights I have missed because I looked for others to give me answers to my life's issues? How much energy have I spent seeking clarity from the lights that flash unrelentingly from culture's values?
Light dwells where life exists. And life exists within each of us. Life, in its glory and pain, in its delight and hurt, in it tenderness and roughness, plays itself out within our hearts and souls. If we take time to pay attention to that life, to the heartbeat of our soul, the light that illumines us will not go out when it get's dark around us.