1 John 1:5: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”
When the Cistercians in the thirteenth century sought to create heaven on earth in their cathedrals, their tool was light. When Matisse sought to capture the love of God that he had been shown by a Dominican nun when he suffered from bowel cancer, he used light. I love thinking of God as light because it puts all the focus on him. We don’t need to be shiny, smooth, porcelain pristine to be shone on. Light shines on any surface, no matter how grungey or gravelly; if God is light then He’s just going to shine whatever.
Matthew 4:16: “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”
And His light is never ever going to fade; in fact, it’s just going to burn brighter as we grow more like Him, and as the New Creation creeps closer.
Isaiah 60:19-21 No longer will you have the sun for light by day, Nor for brightness will the moon give you light; But you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, And your God for your glory. “Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over.
Leonard Cohen once wrote that there is a crack in everything: that’s how the light gets in.
Isaiah 42: 16 “And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.”
So when everything else in the world seems to be asking you to apply polyfiller before you’re acceptable enough to be seen and heard, God walks through the cracks. They’re never ruptures, never too wide and deep to bar us from His presence. They’re tunnels. It’s not ‘apply this elixir three times a day, come back in two weeks and then we’ll talk’. No, it’s like Jesus ties himself to us in a three-legged race and says ‘let’s walk through your sh*t together’. Maybe that’s why Christianity is fundamentally a religion built on and through broken people. Because that’s where Christ can get to work. When you feel shattered into a thousand pieces, there’s no way of pretending you can save yourself.
Cracks aren’t just how the light gets in. They’re how it gets out too.
Isiah 5:14-6 ““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.”
Miracles aren’t always kaboom-moments. But they always move mountains, even if sometimes it’s one pebble at a time. Miracles can be instantaneous conversions and healings. They can also be just getting out of bed in the morning when you feel paralysed by your inadequacy. Either way, they’re both manifestations of God’s light; they’re both banishing the darkness bit by bit in their own beautiful way.
So you don’t need stained glass, blocks of stone, paints, pigments, and you certainly don’t need photoshop to bring God’s heavenly light to earth. You just need your broken bits, and to invite God to do what He will with them. Because the darkness can never triumph.