In the quiet kind of way that these things do, a simple but life-altering thought crept up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder this afternoon. I wasn't looking for it; I wasn't asking to find it. In the gentlest way possible it just opened itself up, right in front of me.
Here it is:
What if my Real Self is like a candle, just waiting to be ignited?
It couldn't be simpler. Wax, a wick and a flame.
Every part of my body and mind turned and curled around this idea and if eyes could see what happened next it would be like watching a dark, empty house suddenly light up, every single light inside turned on all at once.
Next, the ramifications of this new idea begin to hit, one after another, like a set of cards being tipped over, one right after the other:
What if Jesus was simply a human being with that candle inside, lit?
What if God made us with that candle inside and his deepest longing is for that candle to be lit, not some impossible "complete surrender" or a certain percentage of the mind given over in mental acquiescence?
What if the crucifixion wasn't about Jesus' blood being shed to cover disgusting human beings so that a perfect God could stand to look at us? What if it was simply the repercussions of a human who lives with his candle lit, even in the wind?
Suddenly an old memory verse comes to mind from Matthew 5: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
John 9:5: "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Not Jesus is the only light of the world. Not you will be the light of the world after you....fill in the blank. Not because I'm about to die you'll be the light of the world. Not go scare people into believing in salvation through Christ as the light of the world. No.
You ARE the light of the world.
Perhaps it's just how my mind works, but this idea is quite simply blowing my gaskets. To this every cell in my body answers, "Yes."
The nature of a flame is to spread. The nature of a flame is cast light into dark shadows. The nature of a flame is to warm. The nature of a flame is to burn away the refuse under which lies a treasure.
I see I've been walking around this simple truth for awhile now. I knew inside in the deepest part of me that our hearts are not "desperately wicked," that truth is not "out there" or "up there," but rather, INSIDE.
My friend, Jonathan Brink, just suggested it's more like a candle hidden under a blanket. It was always there. That gets at the truth of all this in an even different way. I love that image, as well.
Tell me, does this "candle" idea resonate with you? If so, would you share it with me?