John 8 & 9 – I Am – Light

Here are those I Am’s again! 8:12 – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

This is one of my favorite pictures I have taken of light. I shot it of three candles that were on a table in a small home in a rural coastal village in South Africa in 2015. We were staying with a couple who ran a small medical clinic and these were the few lights that we had the night we stayed. We joined this couple for a Bible study with several others from the clinic while our kids hung out in their bedroom and did kid-stuff after a long day of driving. The power was out in the area at that time and had been out for most of the day. While we were there, the generator also ran out of fuel and the hospital was left without any power. So, we were told that there were staff who were manually running dialysis machines, neonates who had been in incubators were wrapped closely and tightly to the chests of women to keep them warm, and everyone did the very best they could with what was happening. In the home where we were, there were these three candles along with a few others to give light to the room.

It wasn’t a lot of brightness by any means but it was enough. It enabled us to see one another, gave us just enough light to read our Bibles, and created a very different feel to the space than if the electricity had been working. There were candles lit in the hospital as well and there was light shining through the people who were manually cranking the dialysis machines and holding the neonates who couldn’t keep warm on their own. There was enough light, literally and figuratively, that when the power came back on, enough had been done that it was going to be ok for the patients.

The last few days have been filled with remembrances of what happened in the United States eighteen years ago. In many ways I feel that a lot of light was extinguished that day. The light of thousands of lives was extinguished. The light of optimism and hope was put out and replaced with the creeping of fear and mistrust. We have extinguished a lot of lights.

And then again today in John 9…I am the light of the world…words from Jesus as he healed a blind man. I pray that we can hear the voice of Jesus to open our eyes and to not only follow the light of God but also to re-light those that we extinguished.

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