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Do you realize that those around you can be greatly moved and inspired by your own simple abandonment and joy as you reflect the glory in the "face of Christ"? Perhaps without so much as a word, the reality ... the beauty of Who He is can become real to those around you, as they observe you beholding Him. 

I want to share a brief story about a "holy moment" from several weeks ago. It was a beautiful early autumn day, and my husband and I had gone out with our kayaks on a large lake during his vacation. The water was so still at times that the expanse was like a huge mirror, reflecting the brilliantly colored changing leaves and clear blue sky. At other times, when the wind gently blew, the rippling waves would sparkle in the morning sunlight. 

My husband had gone off to fish for a while, and I paddled slowly off to have a quiet moment, and to be "still" for a while. Something seemed to almost beckon from a small island in the middle of the lake to come closer. There were some rocks at the base of the island, where the water met the shore. There were actually small plants or bushes that were growing right out of those rocks, that were changing their colors with the season.

That was intriguing enough to draw me in, wondering at the possibility of those plants being anchored directly into the rock, and apparently being quite healthy and satisfied, even though there was really no soil surrounding their roots, as they flourished beside the lapping water. There was a natural little alcove there, just still enough for the kayak to become lodged between the rocks and sway gently in the lilting waves. There I sat, reading the Bible and having a moment to contemplate. 

Dancing in the Light 

Almost immediately, my attention was drawn up higher onto the island, where stunning trees were adorned in their autumn array. More than that, though, the trees directly above were almost dancing in the light. It was a moment of being transfixed and awed … in some ways, reminiscent of the "burning bush" moment from Exodus 3: 2. 

It was a moment of “being in the right place at the right time”, seemingly all by “chance”…. With the sun behind me, the waves were apparently frolicking in the sunlight. As they reflected that glorious light, the beams bounced up, and seemed to ignite the fall’s brilliantly colored leaves that were fluttering in the breeze at the top of the island's rocky incline.

The sunlight sparkling on water has often reminded me of the way the glory of the Lord reflects off us as we worship Him and bask in the wonder of the radiant face of Christ. As I sat there, the moment seemed to spring to life “in the Spirit”, becoming a sort of word picture…. As we bask in, and reflect His glory, is it possible that by His amazing grace, others may be able to grasp that moment, and begin to reflect Him as well, until Jesus fills us corporately with the wonder of His presence? 

Unveiled Faces 

It is often said that He “inhabits the praises of His people” (from a translation of Psalm 22: 3), and often when there is corporate worship and adoration of Jesus, He seems to “show up” in the midst of His followers. Surely He brightens our countenance when we behold His face. 

What a joy to ponder His grace in even reflecting off of us, and then blessing those with whom we come in contact, so they are also ignited in His loving presence. 

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4: 6) 

When Moses used to meet with God, he had to cover his face when he went back among the people; his face was overwhelmingly radiant. The scriptures say that the veil is removed in Christ, as we understand all He has done for us. “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away…. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3: 16, 18) 

Light shining in the darkness 

As the fall colors are now “past peak”, I was driving a couple of days ago, and was reminded of another scene that had struck me last year as the autumn was winding down. I was driving home at dawn, having dropped our son off early for school that day. On the return trip, the road faces west at one point as it winds around to go up the side of a small mountain. The trees on the side of that mountain are usually not very remarkable. However, on this particular morning, another “in the right place at the right time” moment, the rising sun was casting a warm golden glow right on the face of that mountain. 

The moment was breathtaking, and the most poignant aspect of the whole picture was that the trees had already laid down all of their leaves. They appeared naked, dry and dead, with a blanket of brown at their feet. Yet the amber light reflecting off their cold, twisted forms transformed them with artistic beauty. Suddenly, their tangled trunks, branches and twigs were lit up, radiating like a luminous sculpture with many curves and interweaving formations. 

It struck me that even when we FEEL dry and dead, not worth much, useless … God is STILL faithful to do a good work, as we turn our hearts to face Him in His glory. His light will shine in, through (and off of) our “darkness”, so that others can behold His beauty. 

Behold Him 

So, be encouraged today to seek His face and behold His glory. And be doubly blessed to know that He may use the reflection to ignite the heart of a loved one or acquaintance. Better still, regardless of your own circumstance, whether your life is filled with the amazing colors of His love, or you feel stripped, dry and depleted, He can make a masterpiece out of you as He reflects His grace off of your fullness as well as your brokenness. May His Light shine in the darkness!

November 9, 2010

Lisa Prokopowitz

(Photo by Robert Prokopowitz)

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