The ghosts in the old house have been disturbed and are keeping me awake.
No, not like the ghosts of movie fame—nor even poltergeists or apparitions in chains. I mean those people who once were part of my life, but who only live here now in my memory.
Sometimes I wonder if I have awakened them, causing them, in turn, to interrupt my own sleep. It’s only a thought, of course, not borne out by facts.
Still. Here I am—awake.
I wrote of old light fixtures being made new to shine brightly the last time I shared my thoughts here. Since then, something’s been niggling at the edges of my mind. And, it’s not just the ghosts—although they have a good deal to do with it, truth be told.
I sat at a table in a restaurant with my children tonight, both adults, long since. Showing them photos of the light fixtures we are putting back up in the house their grandparents lived in for most of their lives, I expected my offspring to exclaim about their memories of the fixtures.
They didn’t. Not at all.
I couldn’t have told you that was on the ceiling in that house, Dad.
The other one nodded his head.
Never saw it.
How is that possible?
Many hours of their childhood were spent in that house. They played. They worked. They ate. Surely, in all that time, those light fixtures were powered up and the light shone from them. Surely.
I know it was so. On any number of occasions, as we pulled into the drive to visit, the light blazed out from the windows, welcoming us in from the dark.
How could they not have noticed the fixtures?
As I consider the issue, a light begins to glimmer in my own brain. In a moment, the notion is blazing as brightly as any of those ceiling lights ever did.
You see, on the first few occasions the light switch is turned on, if a fixture is particularly attractive, folks might notice and, perhaps, even be overwhelmed with the beauty. But, after the process is repeated day after day, night after night—for weeks, months, years even—we forget about the light fixture on the ceiling and simply live in the light.
We simply live in the light.
We don’t see the implement anymore.
We see only what is produced. The thing necessary for life—light—fills the house. Absolutely fills it.
And, that’s as should be.
It is true in more than just our physical, everyday needs. The light we require for our faith life is very much the same in the way it works.
We are, indeed called to shine. But, the purpose is that the watching world will see (and praise), not us, but the God who shines through us. (Matthew 5:16)
John—the one also called the Baptist, said it succinctly: He must increase and I must decrease. (John 3:30)
In the old house we’re taking the light fixtures which have kept the shadows at bay for the generation past, and are doing what is necessary to keep the shadows away for the generations in the future.
The same is true for the spirit life of our families and fellowships. Saints of old, faithful in walking with the Savior, have lit the way for successive generations. We can do no less than take up the same light and share it into the future.
Light from the past, shining into the future.
We’ll leave the light on for you.
It’s not an original thought, and others before us have actually made the promise and kept it. To do the same will take a lifetime of faithfulness from us.
It’s time we were started.
Flip the light switch!
Live in the light.
Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining—they just shine.
(Dwight L Moody ~ American evangelist ~ 1837-1899)
And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory.
(Revelation 21:23-24 ~ NLT ~ Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. All rights reserved.)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2017. All Rights Reserved.