Sunday, January 31, 2010

Glow by Reflecting

I was devastated to learn that the light of the moon is reflected light. It just doesn't make sense that the biggest and brightest thing in the night sky doesn't glow on its own. It makes even less sense that reflected light can be visible during the day since the brightness of the sun makes it so you can't see light-producing bodies. The moon doesn't generate light, its glow is completely dependent on the sun, and when the earth gets in the way the moon looses its glow.

Have you ever gotten a sunburn on those parts of your face that are usually in shadow simply because you spent the day letting snow or water reflect light onto your face? If you have you know that those are the worst burns because your skin was attacked from all angles, nothing spared, and the pain is everywhere. All that sparkle on the snow is a reflection (or refraction if you are going to make me be completely scientific). The point is the snow isn't light generating, it simply takes advantage of the light available to it in order to make itself look inviting and magical.

Hand mirrors and watch faces are not light generators, but your sibling will be just as upset after a few well aimed reflections as when you shined that flash light in their eyes.

The whole reason we have light in our apartment is because there is a huge white building across the street that reflects the light so that it gets in our windows.

I've been thinking about this glow by reflection, first because I am grateful that it exists. Imagine if the moon was just this thing orbiting around us that we couldn't see, if the snow or water didn't sparkle, if you could never tinkerbell-attack you sister, if my apartment only got the light that made it there directly from the sun. The world would be pretty dark and gloomy if there were no such thing as reflected light.

I've been thinking about it because it is a pretty easy way to glow. The hardest part is getting those people who actually glow to let you hang around them so you can get your reflecting on. I have this friend who is very good at talking to people (she doesn't think so herself, she says she is just trying to emulate her mother.) I think everyone thinks they are her best friend, and that she is theirs. She is a light generator. And, while I can't generate light in that way, believe it or not I am a very awkward conversationalist, and even worse small talker, I can reflect her light. There have been several times where people have mistakenly thought that I was just as friendly as T, simply because I was sitting next to her while T and the new person had a conversation. I was simply glowing by reflection.

And if you don't believe that story, please really examine the memories you have of me being friendly, most likely Justin was there doing the light generating and I was simply angling myself to reflect some of his light. I am always grateful that I married such a nice guy. 98% of the friends that I have made on my own were those people who lived with me, so were around me enough to see past that strange, cold, dark first impression I give off (okay, that might be an exaggeration, but roommate friends, you can back me up on this right?)

On a spiritual note the only way I can truly glow at this point is by reflecting God's light. I'm not perfect, not transfigured, my hair is not producing horns let alone a halo. But, I hope to be reflecting some of that light that comes from God's love, God's truth, God's goodness. I've decided this is why children glow so readily, there isn't much blocking God's light from reflecting off of them. They aren't tarnished, and they don't let anything get in between them and God's light.

So that is the goal. Glow by Reflecting. At first it seems like the lazy-man's way out, and sure it may be, but if you think about it glowing by reflecting is pretty hard. You have to choose the right light source, be reflective material, and on top of that be clean reflective material, and not allow anything to block the light source. The goal is to remove those obstacles that are diminishing my ability to glow by reflecting God's light, and that is not going to be easy. I've got to work on distance, tarnish, light-blocking stuff in between me and God. Glowing by Reflection is just as much work as producing a glow, and that is why it is not an easy out.

Would you like to try it with me? Try sometime to glow by reflection and let me know how it works out? I'm interested.


Tammy Lorna said...

Oh Brecken. Your post almost made me cry! I know you're expecting me to back you up and agree that you're simply a light reflecter - but I can't. You're one of the brightest shining lights in my life. And I really don't say that lightly. (Get it? Lightly?! Okay, that was an accidental joke - I'm actually being serious here, and I'm just a little teary as I type - I just can't pass up a good pun! lol). You obviously don't see yourself clearly at all. Why do you think I take the time to stay in touch with you and read your blogs and write to you and talk about you so often? Why do you think I miss you so much and treasure our friendship as deeply as I do? It's because I so miss the light I'm blessed with everytime I'm near you. I never felt like I had to see past that scary stay-away exterior that you always talk about! Not only have you always been a shining light in my life, but you're one of the wonderful people who warm all of us lucky enough to get close to you.
So while I know what you're saying about reflected light, and though I'm grateful for it too, you, my dear friend, are no reflecter - you're a glower! And a brilliant one at that :)

xo Tammy

PS. Counting down the days....

Sandy M. said...

Dear B,

It was a lovely post. Great photo that made me smile. But you are completely mistaken about you only being a light-reflector! I've met you and you are just wonderful :) Strangely blind to reality in this instance, but wonderful company nonetheless. I have to laugh a bit at the idea that you give off any kind of 'strange, cold, dark first impression'. I hope I don't offend you by saying so :) I know you are being sincere, and certainly not trying to fish for compliments at all - so I apologise for throwing some in anyway, but you're a delightful person, and blind Freddie (as Neil says), could see that you glow beautifully brightly, and independently, just as you are!


johnjen said...

I agree with the above! You are a light-reflector as well! :)

Rachel said...

Brecken, you glow on your own more than you know. And you reflect the light of our Savior as well. Combined, that's a pretty powerful energy source, and I'm always happy to plug in via your blog.

Mindy said...

Now I'm not sure about this one, but I think your mother would say, "Let your light so shine...that you may glorify your Father who is in heaven....NOT 'Let your light so reflect...'" Might come a day when you can't find too many people to reflect on.
Plus, I think you glow on your own as well. And you reflect good light too and bring out the best in people.
OK, I'm done. :)
Let me know what your mom would really say.

JoJo said...

Brecken-- beautiful post. Beautiful idea. I love the thought of reflecting God's light... I think that is a true principle in the sense that the light we shine is God's, as we are His creations...

AND yes, I also agree with the above that YOU are a light reflector! I don't think inspiration has only one form... "outgoing" or whatever. You definitely have been a strength to me and inspire me as a mother and a friend. Justin does rock, I agree, but so do you. :)

Love you!

Sandy M. said...

I really like Mindy's comment above. We are commanded to let our lights shine, and there will be many times when we are going to need the light that we carry, without having to rely on anyone else. It's the parable of the virgins, isn't it?


Kay Jones said...

Brecken - I've never met you, only met your husband when he was a missionary in Brasil, but I think he made a great choice when he chose you for his eternal companion. I always knew he was one smart cookie! Let your light so shine - just like it always has.