Tuesday, May 24, 2016

cataracts and the Spirit

my dear aunt recently had surgery to remove cataracts from her eyes.   i commented that i was so glad she would again be able to see the beauty of life.   she responded in the best way possible.

"I am appreciating the brightness that I once had and didn't realize that I was losing. The cataract grows so slowly and takes your sight so slowly that I didn't realize what I was losing. I'm sure there's a metaphor for sin in this experience. And I am having to adjust to the bright light. Many times I have to shut my eye because it hurts. I guess that is like trying to be in a spiritual place when you are not worthy."

what a great comparison!   (you can see what an awesome aunt i have)

this thought process started me thinking a bit more about stories of missionaries sharing something and the person is frightened or uncomfortable with the spirit.    it's like her eye that was no longer used to the bright light.   my aunt has been covering her eyes sometimes because the light hurts it.    it takes time to reacquaint yourself with the spirit you grew up with as a premortal spirit.  it hurts to have that strong light suddenly glaring on you instead of a slow and gradual increase.  

i had always wondered how the Spirit could be frightening to someone.   now i understand.   it doesn't take long either.   think about coming out of a movie theater into the daylight.   you cover your eyes and blink to let your eyes get used to it.   my aunt's eyes  have been shadowed for a long time, so her eyes have been taking days or weeks to get used to normal light.  

it is the same spiritually.   the longer we have been away, or the darker our lives have been, the harder it is to come back into the light.    it can hurt, be scary, or just not feel good at first.    

as my aunt keeps allowing her eyes opportunities to slowly get used to the light, allowing them time to adjust and rest when needed, the same holds true for our spiritual light.   it takes time.   it doesn't have to happen all at once.   it may be uncomfortable at times.   we may need to just rest where we are for a while.

In the end, we are all pilgrims seeking God’s light as we journey on the path of discipleship. We do not condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have; rather, we nourish and encourage all light until it grows clear, bright, and true.