#TellHisStory: The Great Rescue
The morning’s first light, blue and mellow, pooled on the kitchen table. She lit a candle before the children awoke. She lit that candle like a torch, like it was the right way to honor the presence of something so lovely.
She was answering the light with light.
She looked out toward morning, over her husband’s farm fields, with all that light coming on strong to shine up the world.
And then she remembered the ugly and the dark. She remembered the cloudy days, the foggiest mornings, and the days when she felt wholly shadowed on the inside — like the light of her own little self had flickered out.
She remembered then what the Gospel does: How the Gospel answers the dark with Light.
She looked out the kitchen window, and watched everywhere how dark met light, and how light was winning. The shorn farm fields turned a lion’s mane yellow, because of light. The sun peeked over the horizon, making long shadows of everything. And she knew that’s how people are, too — with a mix of the sunny and the shadow; the high joy and the deep lament; and a lot of the messy, murky middle.
She knew that’s how she became a whole person, and she realized then that she didn’t resent all of her dark patches after all. Because the dark places always reminded her that she needed rescued.
That she still does.
“Simul iustus et peccator.” She remembered those words right then, looking out that window over those shadows, now shortening inch by inch.
The candle on the table flickered, sizzled.
“Simul iustus et peccator.” Those were the words Martin Luther wrote to identify human beings who are, at once, both saint and sinner. Every believer is a paradoxical mix of light and dark.
Both wretched and loved.
Both ruined and re-created.
Both wrecked and received.
Broken, and bought back.
She knew that she was but a shadow, and that light was gaining ground on her mess, inch by glorious inch.
That’s why she tries to stay close to the cross, not just during Lent but all year long. She doesn’t want to forget Who put the light on the inside of her.
And Who still does. (She did, in fact, remember how He’s generous like that.)
It still isn’t a perfect story for her; it’s neither Pinterest-pretty nor polished. She lost her temper later that day. Forget to send the sympathy cards. Leaned on her own best efforts. Tried to pull herself into God’s good graces all by her own little self. Sinned. Acted a fool.
No it’s not pretty, but it’s the life she is living. In the light. With a crooked little foot in the dark.
And somewhere today, once again, someone might try to snuff out her flame, or cast a deep shadow, or make her think that her little light doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Someone might make her think that if there’s darkness somewhere, she could fix it all by her lonesome.
But she knows better.
She had walked away from the window that morning, but she looked back over her shoulder once more, out over the fields, and she saw it all again–
how the light kept on gaining ground.
How light was stubborn.
And how darkness had no choice but to run.
So, what’s your Story? A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God. From now through Easter, I encourage you to consider stories that center around our Lenten journey, as we move toward the cross and resurrection of our Savior. (However, you are free to share any story that God is speaking into your life this week.)
To participate in the #TellHisStory linkup, simply:
1. Write your #TellHisStory post, from your heart, straight onto your blog. A #TellHisStory is any story that connects YOUR STORY into the story of God. What story is God telling in your life this week?
2. Link here and invite friends to join in by posting the #TellHisStory badge on your post.
3. Copy the permalink of your post.
4. Using the linky tool, paste your link in.
5. Find someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment.
6. Come back on Friday to visit our Featured #TellHisStory, in the sidebar.
Your words matter to God. They matter to people. And they matter to me!
~Jennifer[badge url=’https://jenniferdukeslee.com/tell-his-story/’ title=’#TellHisStory – a community of God/’s storytellers’ image=’https://jenniferdukeslee.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/tellhisstory-badge.jpg’]
Our featured writer tip this week comes from Sarah Atkinson, from Tyndale Momentum. Find her wise words by clicking here.
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Beautiful! So thankful that the Light overcomes the darkness. Where would we be without Him?
Hi Jennifer! It’s my first time to link up with you – thank you for the opportunity! I guess I’ve been over-enthusiastic in linking up I even included the ones from the previous week 🙂 . It’s beautiful, what you had written. Indeed, darkness has no place in His light. We need only to let our imperfect selves stay under that light.
Reminds me of some of my days, sans the farm and shorn fields out my window. I’m a light catcher, can’t get enough of all that beauty.
As usual, you spoke to my heart this morning. Thanks for providing the opportunity to link up. Stay safe during this winter storm.
I was heard someone say that without the night we couldn’t see the stars shine…and the darkness that we sometimes go through is what makes grace shine so clearly. Lovely post.
Oh, this is so beautiful. I resonates deeply with me – we have to be thankful for the scars, because had we not been wounded, where would we be? Thank you for your words today…and for sharing His story!
Jennifer, this is beautiful. I’ve been thinking much of those shadow places, and how remembering and marking them helps me celebrate the light, too. Thank you for this.
Jennifer….yest another beautiful, transparent post. What I love about the use of third person here, is that this can be any of us, especially I! I woke up depressed this morning because of a seemingly hopeless situation with my beloved brother, and how I feel as if I, personally, too can’t seem to extricate myself from dark thoughts and personal failures. But what you said here resonates to give me hope–not just that Christ, our Light, lights our darknes, and that *His* light can never be extinguished….but what you said here: “She didn’t resent all of her dark patches after all. Because the dark places always reminded her that she needed rescue.” I think of the Italian art form, chiaroscuro, and how it’s the interplay of light and dark that makes the painting beautiful. Frankly, the dark makes the light all the brighter. Not for one moment am I saying that God approves of our darkness–our sin. But in His amazing grace, He can take even our “dark places” and work them together for our good, in part, helping us to realize our desperate need for rescue, as you say, and also in helping us to long for His light. And amazingly, He promises to make up for locust years of darkness. He takes both light threads and dark, to create a beautiful tapestry of our lives, when we place the canvas and threads in His hands. How I long to live in the light and to be comforted to know that, indeed, His light will always overcome my darkness–that in the end, God will make art with my life.
Bless you for this exquisite post, Jennifer. You are certainly a work of art in His hands.
Jennifer, what you wrote resonated deeply with me: “She knew that’s how she became a whole person, and she realized then that she didn’t resent all of her dark patches after all. Because the dark places always reminded her that she needed rescued.” Giving thanks today, for the light, and the rescue, and even the dark places.
So beautifully said Jennifer. That crooked little foot! I have one, too. 😉
I am going to tuck these words into my heart. I needed them today. I need them always, but today…..
Thank you for faithfully writing the story Jennifer.
“Because the dark places always reminded [him] that [he] needed rescued.”
Good words, Jennifer.
What a captivating post, just like light in the darkness!
“How light was stubborn.
And how darkness had no choice but to run.”
What beautiful words. A very real testament of what happens for those who believe.
“simul iustus et peccator” “Those were the words Martin Luther wrote to identify human beings who are, at once, both saint and sinner…” Oh, what would I do, who would I be without His Light and Grace?!
Been doing battle of late with the voice of condemnation. Not that conviction is a bad thing. But condemnation is. Trying to remember that “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Oh, wretched [woman] that I am, who will rescue me from this body of death? Praise be to The One who swallows up my darkness with His powerful, beautiful Light.
Thank you so much for these words today, Jennifer! They’ve come at just the right time for me. Knowing that all believers struggle likewise, is comfort for me today.
I’ve been watching the sunlight flood our backyard in the mornings all week. The shadows in the snow caught my eyes on Sunday. The light always chases away the dark, but shadows remain.
‘Because the dark places always reminded her that she needed rescued.’ Thank you!
Not sure how I got here, but delighted I did. I love the truth of the light overcoming the darkness. My favorite line is “Leaned on her own best efforts.” Can so relate! This little light of ours…we’re gonna let it shine!
you captured so well that tension we live in this side of heaven…So grateful He loves us, and He is changing us from “glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18)…Keep shining His light, Jennifer 🙂 Beautiful 🙂
I’m standing in the light with a little crooked foot in the dark, too. Or maybe it’s my bunion. At any rate, I crave the light.
Really beautiful. So thankful that the light always overcomes the darkness.