Yet again, I must thank the FCA for inspiring today’s post.
While I sit here on my steps with my coffee, I am already beginning to notice the change from springtime light to summertime light – it’s a small shift in the angle of the sun (well technically it is the earth) that places the light a little more behind the neighbor’s pine tree, a little more behind the edge of my roof and my crepe myrtle instead of coming directly in over our open yards. It actually keeps my steps a little cooler a little longer – oh but when it is directly overhead – watch out! Burn notice for my red headed, freckled skin!
It reminds me of recent experiences with my son and my husband.
My son had an opportunity, just before he graduated from high school, to work with a polymer chemist as she conducted experiments for her dissertation. An arrangement between a university that’s not too far from his school and either the school district or the state (not sure on that) allows doctoral students in STEM areas to co-teach certain classes.
If you are a chemist, you might understand the words that my son uses to describe the work they did – I don’t. I do know that the idea was to use a powerful dye within some kind of polymer structure to be used in a coating. The dye, if it is able to be contained properly, absorbs light in such a way that it helps the light to kill microbes on the surface of whatever the coating will be placed on.
The work they did showed that the dye worked better in certain types of light, but the chemist and her team are still working on the containment issues. All of which is at the molecular level as far as I can understand. I’m probably saying it all wrong and if you are a chemist you are guffawing at my ignorance right now. That’s okay – I never claimed to be a scientific genius. I laugh at myself too.
The experience with my husband is not necessarily recent nor is it a one time thing. He is excellent at pointing out what is yet to be done – those little, oft-overlooked tasks that you let go by without realizing how much they could contribute to a more functional day. Things like cleaning out cabinets and drawers that you don’t use that often, but that really need to have order so that you can find something in them when you do. (Instead of looking all over the house and garage for whatever it was because it was hidden behind something else in the cabinet. Talk about a wasted afternoon!)
Truth be told, I’m not a great housekeeper. I don’t even delegate housekeeping tasks to others very well. I am the proverbial absent minded professor – if I don’t trip over it, I don’t notice it. My mind is just often focused on theoretical ideas rather than the concrete spaces I live in. Well, it isn’t only the concrete spaces I ignore, but I sometimes ignore myself; my own habits and quirky behaviors that I don’t realize can be annoying to others.
Which actually makes my husband and I a pretty good match. He has such laser focus that it makes up for my lack of focus. Most of the time. Meaning that sometimes I don’t want to hear how my propensity to procrastinate made someone else have to wait on me, or that my forgetting to go to the store, like I promised to do, meant we didn’t have a tool that was necessary to fix something that really needed fixing.
You all know me by now – there is a connection.
The verses that the FCA used in the devotional were these:
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7 NIV)
When I read this, I realized that Jesus is the light that comes to purify us (clean out and kill the bad microbes), and that my husband’s habit of noticing small things is similar to the dye in my son’s experiments (focusing the light where it is needed). But there is still that containment issue.
And that is where God started tugging at my heart – that containment issue? – that’s all on me. How, you ask? Because it is my attitude, my willingness to hear, that allows me to benefit (or reject the benefit) of what is being said.
My attitude is like the polymer matrix that is necessary to hold the dye and filter the light in order to drive out the big (umm little) bad microbes.
Now, Jesus can certainly do his job without any help from my husband, but that isn’t how he wants to do it. The Bible clearly shows us how he wants to use husbands to help their wives:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27 NIV)
The word radiant in that verse means two things (both of which describe the kind of woman I’d like to be):
- Emitting rays of light, shining bright
- Bright with joy, hope, etc.
So if I allow my attitude to be open, I can walk in fellowship with my husband – just like the verses from 1 John say I can.
If, however, my attitude is, well – attitudinal, then I miss the fellowship that is supposed to exist in my marriage, deprive my husband of his place in my life, and keep walking in the dark. Which then means I am allowing myself to be a liar. That is really what it says, folks. Choosing to walk in the darkness when the light is available and you know it, makes you a liar.
God didn’t create us to be liars – it isn’t part of our true identity. So why would we hold onto things, even abstract things like our attitudes, that aren’t part of our God-breathed identity?
It is amazing how God creates the real world in tandem with the theoretical one, isn’t it? Don’t know what I mean? – I challenge you today to find a nice sunny spot, soak up some lovely vitamin D in the form of sunshine, and let it infiltrate your brain with all that great serotonin that helps you maintain a good attitude. And if it’s raining where you are they actually bottle the stuff. Boost your attitude so that you can let the light of your relationships shine on your heart today. It is so worth it!