light

Go for a drive as the sun begins to sink away. Turn off the radio, and lean your head against the passenger side window and look up into the trees. Watch the light thread through the leaves, flicker, dance with the wind, moving like sunlight on an open lake.

The light is breaking through, blink and you’ll miss it but look, the light is here. It grows and takes over your senses, even when you close your eyes, you see the light moving.

We Christians, we have a saying about the Kingdom of God: it’s now and it’s not yet. We live in a tension. It’s the tension of living our lives as Kingdom-people, oriented around the life and teachings of our Jesus, a Christo-centric people, in a world that is not yet redeemed. Of course the world is good – God made it good – and even though it has fallen, it will be restored.  We are balancing between the new upside-down kingdom ways of our Jesus and the reality of our present age. It means that even though all things are made new, they are still in the process of being made new. So we live in a fallen world and terrible things happen but we live our lives as if the Kingdom has already come because it has and yet it is still coming.

The now-and-not-yet of the Kingdom of God is one of those beliefs or ideas that I understand in my marrow, not my mind. I understand the Kingdom of God if I come at it from the corner of my eye instead of straight on. Like love, it defies definition and tidy resolutions and scoresheets.

But sometimes, I am too focused on the not-yet part of the Kingdom. I focus my eyes and my life entirely on the despair or the brokenness, on the frustrations and injustices. I miss the beauty in the brokenness. I miss the Church living and breathing new life into death.

See that God is doing a new thing, do we not perceive it.

I’ve missed the light because of the trees, instead of seeing that it is the movement and shadow of the trees making the light even more brilliant. The trees aren’t blocking the sunlight, it’s filtering, it’s making the light dance in our lives like dry bones rising up alive.

The Bride of Christ grows lovelier to me with each passing day, I keep finding our brothers and sisters in the strangest of places, quietly doing the work of the Kingdom, not because anybody “deserves” it but because this is what we do. This is who we are. This is the allegiance of the Kingdom, our calling is to live out our lives right now as if the Kingdom has already come because it has. We have God’s promises that all things will be made new, and so now: who do I see?

Beauty. Redemption. Miracles. Wholeness. Healing. Renewal. Friendship. Conversation. Prayer. Worship. Work. Music. Art. Justice. Jubilee. Mercy. Love. Sex. Aging. All redeemed.

I want to see the light and I want to see the trees. I want to learn to see them both, moving quickly, stirring with the wind of the Spirit.

I think the Kingdom is more poetry to bear and live into throughout our life, than dictionary definitions to memorize or boundaries to place. Go for a drive, go for a walk, look up and fill your eyes with the Kingdom already come.

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  • Pam Kelly Moore

    Sarah, beautiful post! This reminds so very much of how I feel as my husband and I drive through one of our favorite gardens. Thank you for sharing your words, they speak deeply to me. God bless you! xo

  • JennaDeWitt

    Reminds me of what a teacher (also an artist) told my class once: Look outside at those trees. What do you see? Do you see the bark, the leaves, the branches? Let me tell you what I see. I see light. I see patterns of blue peeking through the leaves, I see a ray of sun that will not be kept out by darkness if it can find but one tiny hole between the foliage to shine through. In life, you will be tempted to see the tree, the obstacle, the shadowy figure. But see as an artist and you will know the light is there, and the darkness will not overcome it.

  • This is beautiful Sarah. Simple, poetic, true and beautiful. May we all learn to see the kingdom in the now as well as the not yet.

  • The Bride of Christ grows lovelier to me with each passing day. I think God gives us eyes to see as our faith grows. The love I have for my church family grows immeasurably with each passing year. And then it spreads to a whole worldwide faith community. You have emerged as one of my favorite bloggers. Thank you for your faithfulness.

  • Shannon Toffton

    Beautiful.

  • Jimmy McLemore

    Beautiful imagery and reflection. Years ago my wife and I drove our 6 year old to the doctor after a diagnosis of future and certain blindness. The just risen sun bathed us as she and I squabbled how to pray. With his face pressed to the window toward the warm sun, our son sang “Michael row your boat ashore…” We hushed as he prayed. Darkness and light at the same time.

  • I love this. The tension can be hard and even painful, but still beautiful and dancing.

  • Susan Irene Fox

    Sarah, this was beautiful and delicate, and spoke of God’s redeeming light and love, not just in the world, but in the shadows of our hearts. Wonderful post. So glad I’m following.

  • Andrea

    Your best post. Ever. Thank you.

  • Kellie Elbert

    This is stunningly beautiful. Thank you.

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  • pastordt

    love, love, love this. thank you. and again, thank you.

  • lulu

    I believe what we see here, the beauty of nature and the love of our brethren are mere glimpses of the Kingdom to come. Christ Himself said His Kingdom was not of this world. This broken, sinful, fallen world cannot even contain the Holy Glory of God. We pray for His Kingdom to come – as when He comes to this earth and rules from the Throne of David – His Kingdom of perfect reign. John 18:36

  • Jenny Foster

    Love this.

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  • Oh I love this so much Sarah! This is it…

  • Tonia (studyinbrown.com)

    Very true. And so lovely. Thank you for these images.

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