Feeling extremely vulnerable and longing for the ambient light of the city I sprinted home as fast as I could. Sadly my fastest sprint frequently felt far too slow, the dark was lasting too long, my mind fleeted between longing for the glare of car lights behind me and my dread that those same lights would belong to a driver unable to see me.
Despite the overwhelming darkness there were a few moments of relief. As I left Nether Whitacre a car pulled up behind me staying at a safe distance for some considerable time, car lights illuminating the road ahead and offering me safe passage. Then there was the pub with it’s bright lights illuminating the road and the cats eyes reflecting all I could throw at them.
In truth the biggest problem had little to do with the dark and much to do with my very poor choice of bike lights. Living in the city led me to feel like I didn’t really need ‘good’ lights just ‘average’ lights and that was a bad choice. When I left the city those pitiful lights were clearly a poor choice.
Saint Matthew tells the story of a moment in Jesus teaching in which Jesus stands with hundreds of ordinary people and urges them not to hide their light under the bushel. It’s a teaching we know well and as with all things we think we know well we often fail to to see the real power in Jesus words. Remember Jesus is teaching Jewish people and for Jewish people the image of God as light is very familiar. It is God’s presence in the light of a pillar of fire which led the Jewish people from captivity in Egypt towards God’s promised land. But Matthew goes much further than this recalling how Jesus encourages people not to focus on the light out there but to see the light of God as present within them, their task, our task is to let that light shine. It’s an amazing teaching! Don’t strive for God let God jump out of your inner most being, in every word you say, in every act you do, in all the places you go to let your light shine! Remember that light is not an average ‘it’ll do’ light but rather the light of the whole universe which will never ver be put out.
You never know from time to time your light might be exactly what a vulnerable wonderer through a dark valley desperately needs. May we shine!