My daughter pushed the baby in the shopping cart around the bedding plants. She turns to me and says,“Isn’t it odd that some plants thrive in the shade while others need the sun.”
She is a homeowner for the first time. I think it is odd that she hasn’t noticed that this before now. But when I think about it, she is just starting building her life in the light, and the shade of her garden.
It's necessary to know that a hosta needs shade and geraniums need sun. But what holds true for bedding plants is not true when it comes to people. We were made to live in the light.
It is in the light that sin is exposed and burned away (our own and the sins committed against us.) There under the scrutiny of the light our true beauty is revealed. We grow in the light because it is there we can see the truth.
The darkness requires feeling our way, finding our way in fear rather than faith.
Our truth may be several layers deep. We hide it under clothes and attitude. To think about stepping out and undressing in public horrifies. We are sure we will be burned. The truth is that might happen----and it might happen for a reason.
It’s the risk we take being known, disrobing, letting others who we know we are, and exposing self to the sting of another’s heat----even when it is God’s Light. We fear the penetrating Light will find us out, throw us out with the tares.
(The enemy hisses. We live next door to the Liar even though we think we are alone in the darkness.)
On Friday night, we laughed with friends about how we didn’t know about sunscreen when we were kids. Our tongues clipped off memories of summer fun in the sun that ended with shoulder’s blistered. A day or two later, the epidermis peeled in big thin wafers of skin leaving us with a reticulated look of a red giraffe.
Years later, we carry the damage on our outside organs, (glaring at us now in the mirror, lines and darkening spots). But we wouldn’t give up those days in the sun.
As for me, though many days were sunny, others weren’t. It didn’t take much to learn to let the skin grow thick, the independent spirit grow attitude. And finally, when the time was right, wear a cute outfit---to look the part of the girl grown up into women wearing and living the American Dream.
I put on quite a pretense for light living. All the things I carefully selected to be my public face were really to keep me firmly planted in the place I thought I should stay----in the darkness. I thought I could grow in the shade. But I was withering.
Shade is great for caladiums and ferns but I was made to live in the light.
The Master Gardener dug me up. I held tight at my roots, resisted. But he doesn’t turn back from tending to hearts that need to live in truth, to be set free from the darkness. He works his garden relentlessly. And what beauty it grows.
I have been living in the light for over a decade in my grown up years. I rub SPF 50 on thinning skin, fertilize eating the Word, draw life from an ever-flowing Fountain. I grow where I am planted. I yield to pruning when those times come. My tendrils reaching up and out. My sufficiency is supplied by the deep Root that sustains me.
Dark clouds shadow me at times. I shiver thinking back on all it took to rip me out of the dark place where I was dying. But I no longer fear going back. Even if I did, He would come get me, dig me up and start over.
Ann Voskamp says, “Above the clouds, the sun is always shining.”
It is and Ann is right. He shines and breakthroughs always come. From below we see breaks in the clouds, blue sky, and remember the hope a New Day rising.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7 ESV)_________________________________________________
Taking the Joy Dare with Ann:
- grandchild saying my grandmother name: Dandy
- peace with the lost of journal from 1993
- hammock out of the closet into the yard
-jamming with Annie, making strawberry jam
-Clara Sue home from the NICU
-using the first leaves plucked from the basil plant
-strength to choose faith over fear and trust over worry