20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’

To live in the light is to live with nothing to hide. When I live in the light, I can afford to be “clearly seen”. When I am willing to be seen I discover that freedom for which Christ has set me free (Galatians 5:1).

I glimpse this liberation at moments. I see the light on the horizon and move towards it. But, then I pull back. I withdraw from that open spacious place where I experience the light of God’s Presence.

I retreat into the darkness in the hopes that my “deeds may not be exposed.”

Titian Christ Carrying the Cross 1505

It can be so simple – an unnecessary and hurtful word, a tiny attempt to get even or to prove my superiority and assert my power, a harsh judgment or a wild overreaction. I do not want these acts or attitudes to be seen.

The challenge of living with Jesus is to bring the whole of myself into the light so that all that I am might be exposed. In the light I discover true freedom. There is nothing I need to hide, nothing I cannot afford to see or am unwilling to allow to be seen.

I can allow myself to be truly seen because I know that dark deeds or thoughts do not make me an “evil” person. They are just what is happening on the surface of my life. In the depths I remain a beam of light. Honesty opens me again to that awareness of light that is my true nature, enabling me to live more fully as the person I was created to be.

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What does it feel like to retreat into the dark? Where do I experience light?