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Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Sun, The Son, And the Light in My Life

I was thinking about the sun on a recent spring day. The ancients used to believe God was the Sun. Or so we have thought, when really that was not intended to be taken literally. Maybe it was poetry, or lyrics to an inspirational song, and it became that God was literally the sun when young children were listening.

Its like the Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus. We invent the fairy tales to enchant and entertain and they inspire creativity and imagination, but can't be taken too literally because the story only goes so far as a fact.

The only light we used to have was from the sun, the moon, the stars, lightning, flourecence, and the tiny fires we made to cook our food. So light was out of our control, yet essential to life, and most all productive activity. That is a potent combination. It came and went in the morning and at night, so we noticed it more than, say, the air we breathe, or the water we drank, which we could carry with us, and follow along as we travelled along river banks. We could make our homes near water, but we couldn't pull the sun down out of the sky when we needed it.

But there is another kind of light. That inner light, that thing we often call spirit.

I think of spirit as what shines out of a child's eyes, or when you watch a puppy, a kitten play, and when people do things that demonstrate spirit, like pep-rallies, parades, singing around camp fires, displays of great courage and loyalty and surprising strength in the face of great joy or great adversity, and even during those quiet times, the every day times, when for a moment, we are so grateful just to be alive. I think deep forests have a certain spirit that can enter right into a person on a camping trip, and God's creation can speak to a human spirit visiting the Grand Canyon, or a Mountain range, or a great waterfall.

When my daughter was born, my first child, I really saw it. It was her, but it was me, too, looking through her eyes at a wondrous world. And it was the connection I felt to her by my fierce mother-hormones that would have compelled me to throw my life away to save hers if I could have. She became the light of the world to me. Some people light up a room with their spirit, and others drain a room of all energy. It is these examples that taught me to see the invisible light.

It seems the invisible light comes from the sun itself, invisible as it passes through the blackness of space, only to light up whatever it touches as it gets here to Earth. The plants grow with it, it powers the movement of water and air with currents, and temperature differences, creating the world we know. It warms us, and powers everything. The only other powers we have are the molten core of the earth, powering volcanos, and the gravitational pull of the moon, causing the tides.

Our oil and gas power comes from the sun.

Then I think about what God sees. If we were to call God the SUN, that wouldn't be very far off the mark. And we would all be God's SON's and Daughters. The earth itself, and all creation would be considered a Son of God -- a production of God, a creative act of God. God emanating outward into the material world from the inner world of invisible Spirit. It is like the rays of the sun, leaving the sun like the spokes of a wheel, outward, and invisible unless you look directly at the sun itself, until it touches something, lighting it up, making the material world visible.

Its like a movie in a movie theater, projected out to a screen. If you look up, the projection light is invisible -- you sometimes can see the rays of light because they hit a few specks of dust on their way to the screen, but it is the screen that lights up, creating all this movement out of a flat, motionless screen.

And so the ancient sages, trying to describe the invisible spirit, might have used the sun's rays as an analogy.

I was thinking why in the bible, we are called the Son of God, and Christ was called God's Son. If you change the word to SUN, it fits, too. I remember the light shining out of my daughter's eyes as I gave her a toy to play with. She lit up my world when she smiled. When she frowned it was like the rain clouds came. Perhaps God sees us like that. We are his creation, but in a way as personal as that of a child. Only his parentage is for all of us, yet not all of us recognize Him as our Father. This would be like having a child that doesn't acknowledge you. That would be like the rain clouds. And yet, God can't force a child to recognize its father. This is given to us as a choice, because love chosen with perfect freedom is trusting love. And only love with total trust will last.

I remember the phrase I learned long ago, that if you love something, set it free, and if it comes back to you it is yours, and if it doesn't it was never meant to be. Maybe Heaven is what God feels when he loves us, sets us free, and each child actually does come back, of its own free will to be with Him. Now that is heaven.

We always seem to label heaven, and the sonship as from our perspective. But heaven is a child that has left and you have worried about their safety, but you knew they needed to grow up and be independent to learn what they needed to learn, and to experience all the adventures they needed to experience. But they then come back all full of spirit and spunk, and have learned things you couldn't have taught them at home.

Maybe when I see God someday, his face will light up the world, just like my daughter's did. And I am His Light, and He is Mine.

I look forward to that day, because my belief is that I will also meet my daughter again, because she died as a tiny child, and for a while the light went out of my life, and my only comfort for many years was imagining her in God's hands, Him holding her gently until I could come to be with her again.

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