Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Pull of Light: Aching to See More

@stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online, by Tami Heim and Toni Birdsong, is a book about how to infuse God’s heartbeat into social networks. This post is part of the @stickyJesus Blog Tour of Light. You can follow @stickyJesus on Twitter, Facebook, or learn more about the book at

Can you imagine what it’s like to live as a blind person? To intermingle in a world void of color, beauty, depth, height . . . void of light?

For most of us blindness would seem unbearable. However, even 20/20 eyesight isn’t a gurantee that you can see much of anything. In fact, you can fumble around, trip, and fall just like Bartimaeus, only your blindness might be spiritual rather than physical.

No matter where you are in your journey with Christ, you should never live beyond the ache to see more of God’s Light. Our pursuit of revelation, intimacy, wisdom, and mercy from God should be the prayerful desire of every believer.

Still our Light flickers. It begins to diminish when we think we know it all or start to see other’s opinions, beliefs, ideas, or perspectives as less than. We begin to ignore the pull of Light. Instead, we take the reigns because we caught one too many glimpses of our remarkable selves.

Time and again Jesus uses blindness in His parables to illustrate how easily pride, religion, sin, and self righteousness can replace the ache for Light in a person’s heart—even a person who claims to know God.

In John 9, Jesus heals a different blind man. The man exuberantly tells the Pharisees about his miraculous healing. Outraged (for several reasons), the Pharisees promptly throw the man out of the synagogue to which Jesus later retorts in John 9:39-41: “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” He goes on, “If you were blind you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”


In the book Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, author Donald Miller suggests that the enemy’s best trick isn’t to get us to commit some great evil. Instead, he allows us to develop a religious habit in which we hear about God but really never engage with God.

Religious habit suffocates our ache for Light.

That’s what happened with the Pharisees. They weren’t so much “the bad guys” as they were guys who had “arrived” and settled in their minds exactly who God was (and wasn’t)—so much so, they didn’t recognize Him standing in front of them. Turns out, God was greater than they could have imagined. Jesus blew their tiny, little God boxes to smithereens.

We’ve all got some Pharisee in us. We think we’ve figured out something super spiritual so we check off the box as “done.” But that’s never true. Until we “arrive” at Heaven’s door, we’ve never really “arrived” at anything.

God is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. For self-reliant, type A people (yes, especially writers), that truth can be one of the toughest to which you’ll ever have to surrender. Absurd isn’t it? That someone else holds the pen and makes the edits to your life? That someone else can shed more Light on a bias you’ve worked years to build up? That someone else might actually . . . be . . . perfect?

So how do you keep your ache for Light strong? Like Bartimeaus, the blind man, you simply tell Jesus each day, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

Scriptures to help amplify your ache:

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Psalm 119:18

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-25

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death . . .
Psalm 13:3

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

Post/Tweet this today:

Until we “arrive” in Heaven, we’ve never really “arrived” at anything. Open my eyes, Lord. Give Light to my understanding. #LiveSticky

Join us tomorrow for The Direction of Light: Pointing Them to Heaven at Wayne Hastings’ blog.


Rachel here. I really loved the line "religious habit suffocates our ache for light." It is easy to replace our desire to see Jesus in both His divinity and humanity by going through the motions of worship but never really opening up our hearts.

What about you? Are you going through the motions, pretending to "see" the Lord but being quite blind? I'm asking to "see" my religious blindfolds this Christmas season. What do you think?


Tami Heim said...

I find myself trying to s.l.o.w. everything down this year. For some reason I keep thinking if I can slow it ALL down - I will see, soak in, and savor more of the season's wonder. His wonder. I don't want to go through the motions - not for the holiday or ever.

Sandra Heska King said...

I do not want to be one of the blind leading the blind. I want to see the Light, be filled with light, spread the light.

Thank you, Rachel, for being and spreading light.

You will not believe my word verification! --->skings

Rachel Hauck said...

Tami, oh, slowing down is a great way to know you're really concentrating on Him!

Yesterday, the last song for worship was Silent Night. And this holy hush fell in the room. Pastor came up to pray and transition the service, but I just saw the Lord dropping down with a big pen, desiring to rewrite people's Christmas past and pain.

It's not about what was or wasn't, but about Him.

I shared this with the people (that's what they get for giving me a mic for 30 minutes. ;) Then I just repented for us all, for me, for making Christmas about the stuff and the things. Even though I KNOW it's about Jesus, my heart was intertwined with the gift giving and the celebrations.

Not wrong in an of itself, but needed an adjustment!

Oh, He's so kind!

Sandra, thanks for being light! I so want to be light too. He is the Light living in us!

LOL on your verification: skings.

Melinda Lancaster said...

First of all, I love this post. I ache for more LIGHT. Next to the air I breathe I can't think of anything that I need more.

I believe that Tami is on to something with the whole idea of slowing down.

It seems to me that society is attempting to dictate a pace that makes everything one great big BLUR.

Perhaps it is not totally blinding but at the very least it does obscuring our vision. I'm beginning to reject this driven pace (although it is not easy)because I don't want to miss the important things. My desire is to see God clearly because only then can I see things His way.

I few weeks ago I attended Deeper Still in Brimingham, AL. It was a life-changing event for me. I've wanted to talk about it but God keeps telling me to "be still." I believe He's got more to say and needs my full attention so that I will "get it." I do want to "get it" and get more of HIM!

Several parts of this post stood out to me. One in particular (which I read aloud to my husband) was: "the enemy’s best trick isn’t to get us to commit some great evil. Instead, he allows us to develop a religious habit in which we hear about God but really never engage with God.

Religious habit suffocates our ache for Light."

Oh my word. So true, sadly. We often look for a huge "spiritual attack" but miss the fact that "the devil is in the details." His lies are often much more subtle than we realize and clothed in the cloak of religion.

I don't want to just talk about God. My desire is to know Him & be transformed by His power. I also want Him to write my story.

Thank you for this challenging post. So much food for thought.

Rachel Hauck said...

Melinda, great post, so much there to read over. Thanks for such a thoughtful addition to this light post from @stickyjesus.

I do think the biggest scheme of the enemy is to simply marginalize us. THEN, he will defeat us. Like the frog in the boiling pot. He doesn't realize it's too hot until it's too late.


Tami Heim said...

Amen Melinda - I share your desire to know Him and be transformed by HIS power. I ache for light and the utter relief of holiness.

Rachel - I can only imagine what a holy moment that was. Thanks for sharing it and being in that gap for us. Lord forgive me for the things that I let tangle up my motives.

Sandy - Thanks for the light you spill in the most lovely ways. You always seem to "shine up" right when I need it most. Bless you.