I found them very timely and helpful...
maybe you will too!
When John is asked, Who are you?; he answers with a string of nots.
He is not the Messiah, nor is he Elijah the prophet.
He is also not the light.
What we know about who we are
is aided by knowing who we are not.
In our current darkness,
as much as we might wish it were otherwise,
we, like John, are not the light.
We are not able to be all that our hurting world needs.
In the shadow of these stressful days, I find an odd comfort in this reality.
I am not meant to be who I am not.
I am not Jesus, nor am I a prophet.
I am not the light.
We are told that John himself was not the light . . . BUT
—notice the compound sentence, each part having equal weight—
BUT “he came to testify to the light.”
Lest we be tempted to make our permanent home in who we are not,
in the small cramped space of low expectations and limited responsibility,
the second half of the sentence clarifies the first.
It calls me out from the shadows
and gives me my own significant part to play.
I am not the light,
but I am called to testify to the light.
To testify is to tell my truth, the whole truth,
to be held accountable for what I know and see.
I am a witness to the light.
I have watched it shine in my very own darkness.
Light, of course, always shows up best in darkness.
As it turns out in God’s wise economy,
I serve the light best not by trying to be light,
not by trying to create an illusion of light,
but by being simply myself.
A wondering, a waiting, a longing, a doubting,
a sometimes lost and tired traveler.
My unique darkness becomes my unique gift.
It is how I testify to the light.
The very parts of me that I think about trying to hide
reveal the light most clearly.
Because even in darkness—especially in darkness—
the true light, oh how it loves to shine.