Daily Reflection
April 20th, 2005

Joan Blandin Howard

University College
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"I came into the world as light, so that everyone who
believes in me might not remain in darkness."

Light and darkness, sight and blindness are powerful images. In Jesus' time other than fire light, the only other source of light was natural light. The day's activities ended with the day's light. It is an intentional challenge for us to appreciate the importance and wondrous gift of natural light. Looking at the night sky over Omaha, it is impossible to imagine sailors navigating across oceans. To view the constellations in their full glory is a rare gift.

Man craves light and fears darkness. So we have learned to manipulate light. We have artificial light sources and daylight savings. Like moths, we are drawn to light and when our light source is interrupted, we have been known to panic. We look for help.

When Jesus says he came into the world as light, he is saying a lot. It is a powerful image. Give your imagination free reign and experience light and darkness, maybe blindness. What happened?

We have known or watched a blind person and may have marveled at "how well he gets around" or "how much she has achieved", or simply questioned "how do they do it?" Maybe commented, "I am glad I'm not blind."
What am I really saying? "I would be afraid," or "I would hate to be dependent on others," or "I would miss so much?" What?

Visiting the Auguste Rodin sculpture museum in Paris, I entered a room full of people. My immediate response was one of shock - all were touching, caressing the statues. In quiet concentration and hushed voices, men, women, and children were literally all over the statues. Instantly I realized they were blind. Each one was accompanied by a sighted companion. After a thorough tactile exploration of a statue the blind partner would step back and model the position of the statue. The sighted companion would offer encouragement as the blind person came to "see" the statue. Joyfully, they celebrated the experience together.

We all suffer blindness to some degree. Jesus is the light and we as members of the Body of Christ carry within us the Light for each other that we all might come to see and believe. We all need companions for the journey to help us explore, witness and celebrate the Light among us.

I invite you to walk with me - to explore, to suffer, to cry, to laugh and to celebrate with me. I offer to do the same for you.

As Pentecost approaches we pray that the Spirit will bless our darkness, our blindness into light, that we might be Light for each other.

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