reflecting light

I was recently given the opportunity to hear Ann Voskamp speak.  Her speaking voice is just as powerful and poetic as her writing voice.  She said many things that moved me that night, but one sentence really stood out to me.

 You can’t force out the darkness — you can only reflect the Light — so more Light drives out the dark.  ~Ann Voskamp

Reflect the Light.  When you are reflecting light, you aren’t doing much else. You simply find the light and stand in it. This one quote brought me so much freedom.  You see, I am doer.  If I am sad, I believe I must work harder at being happy. If I am hurt, I believe I must work at healing my broken heart.  If I am lonely, I believe I must work at bringing more people around me. All the darkness in my life must be there because of something I have done and the only way to chase it away is to work harder. Her quote said something to my tired soul.  It reminded me that I do not need to work to chase these things out, I need to stand and reflect the Light that is in me.

This reflecting of light reminds me of my favorite type of selfie.  When I am out and about with my film cameras, I love to catch myself in the shop windows.  While it is easy to find these reflections, there are a few things that are needed to get a good, clear reflection.

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First, the shop behind the window must be dark.  The darker the better.  Second, the light must be hitting you more than it is hitting the window.  This way, you are reflecting the light into the darkness.

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The darker the shop… the more of your reflected light you can see.

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If the shop is perfectly dark, but you are not in the light, then what is in the light will be reflected.

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But if you find where the light is and stand in it, then you will be reflected perfectly into the darkness… and into the messiness.

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So all I am doing, is standing in the light.  Just standing.  And the light does the work.  The light shines into the darkness and the darkness cannot extinguish it.  The light is doing all the work, not me.

 

I must remember this truth.  So that, when I am sad, brokenhearted, or lonely,  I stand in the truth of Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  I don’t need to work through my darkness, I just need to stand and know that the Light will take care of my darkness.  My job is to simply stand in the Light.

 

Please visit Susan’s beautiful blog, then roll on through the rest of the ladies as we talk about darkness today.

honestly me

I have been thinking, journaling, wondering, asking, and praying about what it means to be authentically myself.  I wonder if I will ever be brave enough to completely know and love myself wholly.  I know if I cannot be honest with myself about who I am and have grace for what I find, I will never be able to do the same for others.  

Here are some quotes I have been sparking my journaling lately.  

“Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal. If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others. If I am estranged from myself, I am likewise a stranger to others.” 
                                  ~ Brennan Manning

“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.” 
                                  ~Kate Chopin 


“First of all, although men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his own personal salvation for himself in fear and trembling. We can help one another to find the meaning of life no doubt. But in the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for “finding himself.” If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence. You cannot tell me who I am and I cannot tell you who you are. If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you?” 
                                   ~Thomas Merton 



“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” 
                                         ~May Sarton

There must be more quotes or thoughts on this subject.  What are yours?  Do you feel like you are authentically yourself?