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!
[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.