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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Eyes Lifted Up

 I walked along the sidewalk of this tiny, German settlement of a town. The wind blows gently in my face as I head toward the car. Rounding the corner, I see the church spire all lit, silhouetted against the black sky. Apart from it, there is no light to be seen on the street. I pause and snap a picture. I am miles from home in this moment, and I have never found myself in this part of the country before. It is new. And yet, something seems similar…almost like I have been here at some point...


 I lift my eyes and gaze on the beautiful church exterior. Most churches are not built like this anymore. Centuries ago, churches were built with the intent that the structure should lift one's eyes toward God. That being in church should bring one closer to their Maker. The image strikes me as being a picture of the soul: only God can light up your darkness. Only God can pierce the blackest night of your heart and allow you to see. To find hope. To live. Apart from Him, there is no light to be found. We are miles from "home" in the sense that we get lost in our own spiritual searchings and despair. We cannot provide our own direction or help ourselves see the right way. All is dark and hopeless until God shines brightly. In that moment, it all becomes clear, and we know where to walk. We know where the hope comes from…Who it comes from. 
 The silence is beautiful, and I look to the sky and breathe a holy, "Thanks." God is always speaking, always bringing light into the dark places. I can never escape Him, no matter how hard I want to sometimes. And I bless Him for the gift of Grace. For the fact that He lights up my dark and dispels the gloomy shadows of the nighttime of my soul. He is the beacon of hope that I can always look to. Lifting up my eyes toward Him is all it takes. Turning away from self to the only cure for self-pity and despair causes me to say, "Look up soul. Simply look up. The light is there and the one who follows it will never sit in lasting darkness. The Light of Life will prevail!"