Jan. 22, 2017
Staying focused on the light.
When I started this “sit down” my original thoughts went to a very simple process. First I saw the emphasis on walking out of darkness into light, concluding with the Gospel message of Jesus choosing those to follow him. They went about healing, serving, doing the work of the kingdom. Amen. Simple, the call to follow the light before you, leading you to being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Then it happened, I leaned back in my chair, closed my eyes and began to pray. My prayer was interrupted with a vision. The vision was of an older man sitting in his chair. His hair had grayed with age. His hands grasping the arms of the chair had turned white from attempting to quench the pain in his body. Tears trickled down his face. His eyes focused on a tiny light before him. It was as if a voice was saying follow the light, do not move to the right, do not move to the left. Stay focused on the light before you.
Then while still in prayer that same voice said to me this is for you. Today, the words are for you. Read them again and see the faithfulness of God.
I read again, again, and again.
A few years ago I was that man sitting in the chair. The pain from sarcoidosis had once again visited my body. The first time this pain had visited me was many years ago. The doctors and nurses in the hospital could only stand back. They had reached the limit of pain medication that could be administered. All they could say is wait. A few days had gone by, rest had alluded me. Then a young lady came into the room. She was dressed in the proverbial red and white striped dress of a volunteer. She asked if she could help. I said, ask the nurse for more pain killer. She went, she came back. She looked at me and said, there will not be any more pain medication for you. You have exhausted your limit. I said thank you for trying as tears rolled down my face.
She sat in a chair by the edge of the bed. In a matter of minutes she had placed her hands on the railing. She leaned forward, her head rested on her hands. She began to cry. Tears streamed from her eyes. She then stood up, touched her hand to my shoulder and said, I am so sorry I cannot help. As she ran out of the room her hand seemed to clasp the blanket of pain. She took it with her. The pain had disappeared.
About an hour later the nurse came to administer more pain medicine. I said no thank you. The young girl you sent took it away. She said she did not know what I was talking about. I told her what had happened. The nurse then said, get some rest.
This second time there would be no angel of mercy. There would only be the light. Do not move to the right, do not move to the left. Stay focused on the light before you.
I read again the scripture. Isaiah, the people who had walked in darkness are now in light. The burden is broken, there is hope. Since that moment when I could barely move I stayed focused, I stayed connected to the task. There was no vision only a light, only a call, stay focused, the salvation would be a gift from God. Since then the word about this disease, Sarcoidosis has grown. Every day thousands of people now read daily about how to live, how to overcome, how to integrate faith and struggles. Indeed an oppression is being lifted. A time to celebrate is on the way.
The Psalmist simply declares not only does God give light but God is that light pulling us into deeds of beauty and ultimately into activities that yield salvation. Each day readers talk to and with each other about concrete avenues of hope and direction. As each stays focused more and more experience relief if only for the moment.
The Apostle reminds us that while some would say forget it, take care of yourself first, the real message is that as you walk in the light you experience the healing power of that light. Look back the voice would say. You stayed focused and others as well as yourself are receiving the benefits.
Ultimately, as the disciples experienced, to walk with Jesus is to do the work of God’s Kingdom. The light has not mislead you.