I walked into the living room a couple weeks ago to find Robbie sitting with the table lamp in his lap and his head under the shade! Apparently he had partied hearty while I was out of the room! It would have been hilarious if I hadn’t been scared to death that he would be burned by the hot light bulb inside—and miffed that the lamp shade was being damaged even more than it already was. Robbie had grabbed it before and pulled it to him, resulting in several large cracks. I rushed over to him and pulled the lamp away. Fortunately, he had not been burned. Though the shade was in sorry shape already, it wasn’t any worse than it had been. Perhaps I should just break down and buy a new shade, but I hesitated knowing Robbie would probably do the same to a new one.
I looked over at the other large table lamp in the room. I loved that lamp. It was a light blue, over-sized and heavily textured ginger jar topped with an equally over-sized shade. It, too, had been tipped over a couple of times by a certain grandchild of mine who shall remain nameless. The shade itself had withstood the abuse, but the metal stem inside the lamp was bent so that the shade hung way off-center and no matter what we did, we could not fix it. Sigh. Bob had been saying for years that we needed to get rid of our mismatched lamps but I just couldn’t seem to let go of that pretty blue lamp.
The subject came up again this week. “How old are these lamps, anyway?” Bob wondered.
“Hmm, we got them in 1986…twenty-six years old!” I answered incredulously. “Wow! Maybe it is time we get some new lamps!”
That turned out to be my mission for the day. I ran from store to store to store (six in all) on a 99° day looking for the right combination of lamp bases and shades in the right sizes. I found the bases at the very first store (on sale and with an additional coupon off!) but when I brought them home, the shades looked too small. Out I went again, until I finally came home with shades that really worked and that pleased both Bob and I. I bid my blue lamp a sad, fond farewell as Bob carried the old lamps out to the alley. Within an hour or two they had disappeared as one of our neighbors confiscated them.
We wondered if Robbie would notice that we had new lamps when he woke up. Oh, he noticed, alright! He’d only been awake a few minutes when I turned my head away and a few moments later, when I turned back to him, there was Robbie with his fingers curled around that new lamp and pulling it toward him! I had to scold him strongly, hoping it would sink in that he was not allowed to touch the lamps! We’ll see how long that lasts!
I’m not surprised that Robbie is attracted to the lamps. We all love light. Whether it’s the fireworks we enjoyed this week, a bright full moon, a beautiful sunrise or awesome sunset, cozy candlelight, the toasty blaze of a campfire, or simply a night full of stars—there is something about light that draws us to it like moths to a flame.
It is no wonder Jesus compared Himself to light. Despite the sunshine and other lights of our physical environment, we live in a spiritually black world. John 3:19 tells us that we needed to be rescued from the darkness, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” The good news is that Jesus is that light. He said, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) He went on to say, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Christ came into the dark, sinfulness of this world in order to lead us out of its blackness and into His eternal light and life. He said in John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”
His light shines in our hearts and opens our blinded eyes to the glory of God. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6) His Word continues to act as a light in our lives, guiding us in His way, according to His will.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
Furthermore, when we have His light in our lives, He wants us to be lights, as well, in this dark world. He has said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) As our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers see Christ shining steadfastly in our lives, they will be attracted to that Light.
May it be our desire always to be reflectors of the light of Jesus Christ to the glory of God and for the salvation of others.