The phrase "blinding light" has never been so true as when you walk into the doctor's office waiting room. But that's only a warm-up for when you walk out into the sunlight outside. It's painful. Keeping your eyes open is next to impossible. There is simply so much light coming into your eye, you cannot see clearly.
I've had the chance to have a few conversations in the past week that illustrate the truth of this reality of the interaction of darkness and light. Two of them lost children far too early. But, I suppose that's the only way to lose a child -- far too early. Another recently lost a parent. And another is going through a divorce.
The gist of all four conversations boiled down to the agreement that tragedy magnifies joy. Not at first of course, but over time the shadow of loss makes the light of blessing so much brighter.
That might not even be the right way to say it, because really the light itself doesn't change, does it?
The sunlight isn't measurably more intense when I walk out of the doctor's office, my eyes are just more sensitive to it. The beauty of a baby, of a child, of friendship, of faith are not changed in the instant you experience loss or the moment tragedy makes its way into your life, you just appreciate it more. You recognize the gift in it all.
And by you seeing the Light, the Gift, you have the opportunity to share those new eyes with others. The place that you find your wounds are somehow transformed into a place of healing. The patient becomes the doctor. The one who cowered in the shadow becomes the one who basks in the Light.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4