When Daylight Comes
“You’re burning a hole in the daylight!” barked the voice on the phone. There was no greeting or introduction, but we didn’t need one. Our neighbor’s voice was unmistakable, and after 100 years of life it was understandable that she might lack a few social graces. After all, she had lived through both World Wars as well as the Great Depression and so to waste resources was tantamount to treason. Hence the ire in her voice as she called anytime we forgot to turn off our porch light after the sun had risen.
I think of Ethel Sherwin often; pretty much every time I turn off the porch light each morning. On the occasions we forget, Kristin and I always quote the familiar line, sometimes even mimicking Ethel’s voice. Ethel has been gone for over a decade now, but our porch light keeps her memory close.
Our little porch light is nothing special. Just a single bulb of average lumens housed in a simple fixture I picked up at the hardware store. But on these dark fall nights the effect is dramatic – a brilliant island of light in a sea of black. We don’t really appreciate the significance until it’s off when we get home at night and have to get the right key into the right spot by braille. I might as well be blindfolded. That little light of mine is really valuable.
However, yesterday morning a different light grabbed my attention. I was sitting in my familiar spot when the pages of my Bible began to glow red. For a fraction of a second I thought some special revelation might be imminent, but then I realized it was coming from outside. A gorgeous sunrise was underway and I hurried outside to see it better. The entire sky was washed in pastels as the sun ascended the eastern slopes of Mount Hood. I marvel how this familiar miracle never gets old.
Finally, the morning chill convinced me it was time to find my woodstove. At the door I noticed our porch light. It was on. But you could hardly tell. An hour earlier you couldn’t miss it. Now, I barely noticed it. Hmm. Perhaps this was a morning for revelation.
It isn’t just a kiddie song; we really must let our little light shine. (Mt. 5:16) Incredibly, our little lights will actually shine like stars in contrast with the darkness of our world. (Phil 2:15) But some glad morning the Great Light will rise, his face shining like the sun in all its brilliance (Rev. 1:16), and our little porch lights will happily give way to the rising Son.