It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything to this series: Jesus’ Light In Action. For those unfamiliar with this group of posts: in it, I delve into the properties and workings of natural light to gain insight into how Jesus’ love and power are manifested in our lives.
The Bible repeatedly refers to God (and Jesus in particular) as the Light of the World.
Why do Christians who come through dark places before finding the joy of God often seem more “on fire” for God than those of us who grew up in the faith?
What is it?
1. The American Heritage Science Dictionary defines diffraction as “The bending and spreading of a wave, such as a light wave, around the edge of an obstacle.”
2. According to the Random House Dictionary, diffraction is: the phenomenon exhibited by wave fronts that, passing the edge of an opaque body, are modulated, thereby causing a redistribution of energy within the front: it is detectable in light waves by the presence of a pattern of closely spaced dark and light bands (diffraction pattern) at the edge of a shadow.
How does it work?
This is my extremely simplified take on the phenomenon. I’m sure physicists would cringe, but here goes.
A beam of light is shined through a slit or aperture, or across the edge of some other opaque object. The waves of light are bent and scattered, causing different parts of the beam to interfere with each other. This can spread the light wider than the original beam and/or create alternating bands of dark and light (or of different colors) at the edges of the obstacle.
So, what does any of this have to do with my earlier question?
We all, including life-long Christians, encounter obstacles that can get in the way of God’s plan to shine through us and reach out to others. Imagine those circumstances, hurts, choices, and failures form a wall of darkness surrounding our hearts, trying to keep God’s Light from being seen in us.
Now, imagine a life-long Christian has been exposed to enough knowledge to forge a breach in that wall of darkness, a rather large breech. (see the picture above, on the right) We stand on God’s Word when things go sour, depend on His love to comfort us, etc. So, many of the obstacles can’t remain in our path. God’s light can shine straight and true, but perhaps it only reachers those with whom we feel comfortable talking about Him. After all, if we are life-long Christians, chances are, most of our friends are too.
For someone whose life has been one obstacle after another, or separated from God for years, the breach in the wall of darkness may be smaller at first, narrower. (see the picture on the left). But, when God’s light finally breaks through, it’s like an explosion of joy. It spreads out farther, touching more people, because of the intensity of the obstacles it had to overcome.
Of course, there are many other ways of looking at this question. For instance, light is most visible shining from deepest darkness. I think the bottom line is, when we’ve known great darkness, our appreciation for the light is greater. We have a craving for everyone else to feel that kind of joy. a joy we haven’t learned to take for granted.
How would you answer the original question? Do you see other ways diffraction symbolizes God’s light?
PS. Don’t forget to enter the Name-a-country Contest!