Let Light Shine in Winter


tasha burgoyne -let light shine winter-3

When the sun is allowed to shine through the living room window in our home, it reveals every dusty surface. And at the right angle, it only takes a little light to glare right into my eyes and make everything familiar in our house uncomfortable to look at.

One of the reasons we chose our home was for the light.

Light is powerful. I’ve been longing for it to shine on all of the darkness I see out there; but I’ve forgotten how much of it I need to shine on the dark corners within me. Light asks for my honesty and humility whether I am ready or not.

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day brought a woman caught in adultery before him. With ulterior motives and hearts full of accusation and condemnation, Jesus’ response gave light to all that heard and would ever hear. He bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. Raising the temperature and illuminating the years of dust within souls, he asked his listeners to honestly look within and consider their own darkness before throwing a stone. They all slipped away. I’ve always wondered if any of them slipped away, but kept their stone.

I was with a few people I love recently, and while I knew we had opposing views about politics and leaders of today and yesterday, I found myself shocked to realize how far the gap really stretched. I wanted to argue and convince and drop my jaw open as wide as possible. I was upset and yet, in the middle of our conversation, I looked at one of the faces I spoke with and remembered how much I loved this person, and they, me. I remembered all the ways this person’s life spoke the message of Jesus to me. Before I ever knew Jesus, this person showed Him to me by her sacrificial living. And yet, here we were, disagreeing about things that seemed more important than ever and leaders that neither of us had ever met in person.

I went to bed that night remorseful, not because we didn’t agree, but because I sensed the Spirit reminding me God was more concerned with letting light shine into the dark places in my heart. God convicted me. My stance didn’t matter as much as the posture and actions of my heart towards God’s own image in every person.

Instead of standing with me with ferociousness, I think he would’ve been writing in the dirt.

Everywhere I look these days, there’s an “us and them” mentality. I’m tired of Facebook, leery of Twitter and alarmed with my own desire to quickly judge others. It’s too easy to take sides in our loud, opinionated culture. But this siding isn’t helping. The stones in our hands do not have the power to change a single heart, only to break them.

Somewhere along the way, I see how I’ve started doubting that Love is truly powerful enough. It’s giving way to my very real disgust with people and my doubt that Jesus could ever turn a heart the way he did someone like Saul who became Paul; or the way he did my own. I’ve forgotten my ragamuffin anthem that would’ve welcomed anyone in: not only the stranger and the oppressed, but also the privileged and the oppressor. I’ve forgotten that I am both in my own way.

I used to always imagine myself standing by Jesus, clapping when he told the men to go ahead and throw the first stone if they had no sin. But now I think I would likely be standing across from them, my own stone in hand, telling Jesus to condemn them for their condemning her. And while I championed the cause of the woman they accused and used as a pawn to catch Jesus up, I did so as someone completely removed from this woman’s actual story.

This light is raising the temperature in the cold corners of my heart, but this merciful warmth isn’t just cozy and hygge; it has the power to bring me to my knees.

We chose the house we live in now for the light. And now, as a new year dawns, despite the dark and dreary long days of Winter still ahead, there’s nothing more important I need to do than keep choosing to let the light in.