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The Light Source of the Body (Matthew 6)

Our eyes have the capacity of adjusting themselves to darkness.  When we come out of sunlight into a dark tunnel or cave, we are at first disoriented. Or when we walk at night from a lighted street into a dark wood, we may perhaps be frightened by the darkness.  But if we do not lose patience we notice that our eyes gradually become used to the darkness, and that we begin to recognize the world around us.  This is actually the best way to overcome fear of darkness—walk step by step into a dark space; wait until you become familiar with the darkness, and you begin to see.

This is not only true in the physical world, but also a spiritual reality.  Every day we are confronted with a world of dark, horrific events.  As a rule, we don’t want to see them at all.  We turn away and try to force ourselves to look at the light side of life.  In our current western world there is even an aversion to every sort of darkness.  We turn away from the sick, the dying, the hungry, the refugees, the criminals.  We don’t want to see the dark side of life.  Or are we perhaps afraid of it?

When Christ spoke of the eye as the light source of the body, He was not telling a parable, but a daily truth.  It is not the bad world that makes us bad.  It is not the darkness outside us that darkens us inwardly.  But it is the way we look into the world that brings us darkness or light.

The question is not: What do I see?

But: How do I see?

Am I looking into the world with fear, with abhorrence, or even with hatred?

Or can I look into that same world with compassion and love, in spite of all the darkness?

This subtle way of looking not only illumines and relieves ourselves, but will eventually also illumine and relieve the darkness of the world around us.

A mother who had lost her two children wrote after a long period of rebelliousness, mourning and depression:

When I

concentrated

and full of love

look at the darkness

then I see

light.

 

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, September 20, 2020

1 reply
  1. Avatar
    Johanna Geers says:

    How do I see ” the world”, the criminal, the sick, the older, the..the…the… And than? Looking,looking, looking….?? Next…

    In this moment for me is an equally big question….How do I see my brothers and sisters , my ” fellow thinker” so to speak. Is it so that I notice him or her? Or is it so that I ignore him because…??? Has Christ different standarts for ” the world” and my fellows?.. What do we with our own …..singles, gays, transgenders, addicts? ( O yes ,they are among us!!) Or the fellow who seems a rebel….The fellow who we don’t understand or even hate him or her??

    Only when my own sidewalk is swept….. That is how I learned in another fellowship: ” Keep your mouth and clean first your own house!”
    Thanks for reading.

    Reply

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