As a child I was afraid of the dark. Darkness embodied everything I was afraid of. I imagined all kinds of monster and evil lurking in those dim shadows. As I grew up darkness also came to represent being lost, not knowing where to go nor what to do. One of my favorite images has always been that of light piercing the darkness and driving away the shadows of my fears and doubts.
I love imagining life as a bright explosion of white light breaking the darkness. I imagine love to be an intense and warm glow of light driving away my fears. I love watching the first glimmering of the light at sunrise during early dawn and I love relishing the fading colors of the sunset in the early evening. And throughout the day, light gives me joy and a deep sense of happiness.
Light is life and love. The sun sends out its light unceasingly and it is this light that gives life to every living creature here on earth. The same light gives me the warmth and energy like the feeling I experience when I am in love. It is no wonder that early man looked at the sun as a god.
It is no wonder either that Jesus used the light as an image for the life and the love he has come to bring into our existence. He also used it to describe his relationship to the Father. Is this all about imagery? Or, is this the real thing that we need to see and understand in prayer? When I close my eyes in prayer, it is not the darkness I see. I can see the light that Christ is talking about. I can see the colors of all creation around me. And I love to see the powerful explosion of the life and love that surrounds me through this light that Christ is talking about. And at the end of the day, I pray like the disciples on the road to Emmaus: “Stay with me, Lord, for it is almost evening and the darkness will soon be upon me.”
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’