Light is an amazing phenomenon. The speed of light is slightly more or less than 186,000 miles per second depending on what it hits or passes through. Light can do some amazing things. It will bend, reflect, or focus and always remain in a straight line.
The effects of light are best illustrated when looking at a lens – whether the “original” lens found in your eye, or the artificial lens in a camera. The curved glass inside a camera causes light to refract and directs it toward the image you’re trying to capture. The photographer will adjust the curvature of the lens in order to zoom in or out of the thing they’re trying to capture. The same is true with our eyes. We all have a lens at the front of our eyes, just behind the cornea and the opening of the eye gate or pupil. This lens is attached to our eye with little flexible fibers that allow it to adjust its focus near or far.
Do you have to wear glasses or contact lenses? When light passes through our pupils and crystalline lens, the light is refracted at a specific angle. Some refraction points converge before the retina and some after, making us either near-sighted (before the retina) or far-sighted (beyond the retina). Either way, it results in blurred vision, and we need a corrective lens to either shorten or elongate the point of light. If you don’t need glasses, that means the light comes together directly on the retina giving you 20/20 vision. I got my first pair of glasses when I was nine years old, and I’ll never forget driving home and noticing all the incredible details of the leaves on faraway trees! It was amazing to see so crystal clear.
Another amazing thing light does is reflect. Before you can look at yourself in a mirror there must be rays of light present. And the more light present, the greater the clarity of the reflection. The jury’s still out on how I feel about those lighted makeup mirrors… I have way less wrinkles and blemishes on a dimly-lit mirror.
Light not only refracts and reflects, but it can also passes through objects. Many objects are translucent, allowing some light through but not enough for sharpness or clarity. Have you heard of people needing cataract surgery? Cataracts are when the crystalline lens becomes opaque, producing cloudy vision. Amazingly, a simple surgery can replace the old lens with an artificial one so that clear vision can be restored.
The purest form of light travel does not refract, reflect, or obscure light, but allows everything to be clearly and distinctly seen. When a cloud passes over the sun, rays of light hit the cloud and shoot out in every direction. But on a clear, sunny day with no cloud coverage, fog, or smog, light can pass through the clean, transparent air. Objects are distinctly seen, and nothing is hidden.
I’ve barely uncovered a glimpse of the complexity of light and all its properties. Even with these few examples, we can easily see many similarities to how it pertains to life, specifically on transparency. As the word itself implies, transparency hides nothing. Transparency and truth are synonymous. But there cannot be transparency, or the revealing of truth, without the light.
“God is light and in him is no darkness at all.”
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Darkness hides truth, but light illuminates the truth. Why is there such confusion in the world today? There are varying opinions about man’s morals, religion, and personal identities because there is no light given to illuminate the answers. The world and its systems have blocked out the light of Truth (which is the Word of God), and we are left to grope and stumble in the darkness of our own opinions and ideas about truth. When we live in darkness, we are insecure, fearful, and full of doubt because there is no light. Essentially, we cannot see! This can be true in the life of a Christian. Oh, how we need to light up our life with the Truth of God’s Word!
God is not just a light in the world, He IS Light. God is not just simply truth-FUL, He IS Truth. And God, in His mercy, has been transparent with us. He has clearly shown us Who He is so that we might know Him. But we cannot know God without first seeing ourselves with the light of truth.
The light of truth reveals that we are sinners before a righteous God. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” [John 3:19] The light of truth reveals that we are loved unconditionally by God. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” [1 Peter 2:9]
BOTH OF THESE TRUTHS EMPOWER US. When the light of the glorious Gospel shines on our heart, we see our sinfulness and we see hope. It is only after we sorrow over our sin that we can be delivered out of darkness and experience God’s grace and forgiveness. It is only after we know we are loved by God despite our sin that we can live freely, openly, and fully, without any fear. We are either living in the light (believing God is our Truth and Light) or we are living in darkness (believing ourselves to be truth and light).