This morning as I stood by my kitchen window and looked out into the darkness, I found myself thinking about how pretty the sleeping world looks bathed in the light of the waning moon and the star filled sky. The grey darkness covers many of the flaws I normally see in my yard and it reminds me of the snow covered landscape. My children find it odd that I like the darkness of night since I struggle with poor night vision. Perhaps because of my limited vision, I see the dark world a little differently than they do, but for whatever reason, I do find the dark, moonlit, world beautiful and tranquil.
However, staring out into the darkness from the safety of the kitchen and maneuvering about at the barn are two different things, and since the time change, morning chores are once again done in the dark. We have lights in the barn, but they do not light the entire barnyard and I often carry a battery powered lantern to help light my way.
The light of the lantern can help me maintain direction and when I carry it dangling by my side it sheds light at my feet and helps me avoid tripping over water hoses or misplaced buckets and tools. When I raise the lantern to eye level, I can shed more light on the path in front of me and I can easily see gate latches or find feed pans in the dark.
Although I may find the black and white view of the night captivating, I find I need additional light to find my way – even if it reveals an unkempt barnyard or other things that I wish would remain hidden. The reflected light of the moon just doesn’t shed enough light to clearly see those things that might trip me or hinder my work.
The lantern in my hand reminds me of Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” As I work I find myself thinking about the beauty that is found in the reflected light of the moon. It is indeed a reflection of the true light of the sun, but although it is helpful, I cannot work in reflected light alone – I need something brighter to help me find my way.
The beautiful reflected light of the moon makes me think of the informative, inspirational, and encouraging words I have read that were written by those who are reflectors of the light. Their words have often shed light into dark places in my life, but I wonder how often I have relied on their words alone for instruction and teaching and have not taken the additional step of lighting that dark place in my life with the lantern of the word. Of course, just like the moonlight, God sends those who are a reflection of Him into a dark world to shed light in the darkness, but the light from a reflector is limited and so we must also take up the lantern of the word to help us avoid those things that might trip us or hinder our work in a world that is void of light.