We were in the middle of a bible study, all comfortable in our chairs, when the conversation turned to light and to God’s love.
Our lives should be a reflection of that, someone said. We should show his love to the world. We all nodded and discussed the next verse. But after the closing prayer and the homemade toffee and the catching up with friends, after the drive home, I wondered about that word reflection. And I started to unpack its meaning.
I thought of seeing my face in mirrors and in clear, calm waters – and how the slightest wind or bend would cause distortion. I thought of how light reflects off of but rarely in to, how it deflects rather than absorbs. And I thought of how, without the source of light being visible, the reflection quickly grows dark or non-existent.
While my friend meant reflection as something to aspire to, I began to see it as an unfortunate description of where I sometimes am. I know I share God’s love best when life is peaceful and there are no ripples in the pond. And I struggle when the really hard times come, when evil scratches hard all around. I strain to position myself to see the light, and I forget that the light is already in me.
But when I think of God’s love as something within, then it becomes a light that can stand alone in the darkness, a light that shines brightly in spite of circumstances. It becomes something I bring with me when I stand with the mourning and when I welcome the stranger. It becomes something sustaining, purifying and transformative.
It becomes what I believe it was meant to be.