She was a luminous soul.
It was a curious mixture of vulnerability and strength. Her skin looked almost translucent. Her eyes no stranger to sorrow, but also creased with joy. She was slight, even a little fragile. But somehow also solid. Grounded.
She was quiet, observant. Attentive and present. You could tell that she was just as aware of the Other in attendance at the table as she was the rest of us. She didn’t speak much – she chose her moments carefully. But when she did weigh into the conversation, her words carried heft and substance.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and I hung onto every word.
Those who look to Him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
This woman has been with Jesus.
As we march towards Advent, I’m aware that my surroundings are becoming very shiny. Lights hanging on the High Street. Decorations in the stores. The town is polishing itself up for Christmas.
Tolkien said in the Lord of the Rings, “All that is gold does not glitter.” I wonder if the inverse is also true. Is all that glitters, all that is shiny, gold?
It’s so tempting to be shiny. I want to polish myself up, put my best foot forward. Make a good impression. Possibly even impress. My motives are good – well, mostly. We are called to shine as children of light in a darkened generation, aren’t we?
But am I full of light, or merely shiny? Am I lit from within or do I merely glitter?
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
The pathway to luminosity? Paul would say the contemplation of God’s glory. British poet William Blake says “We become what we behold.”
What might happen if I search for God’s glory in all it’s multiple manifestations around me? In the Scriptures and in the Chantry Woods? In the faces and lives of those I am growing to know and to love? What I set my heart on a quest for His beauty and when I find it stop. Look. Listen. Contemplate. Take it all in. Let it invade the inner chambers of my heart and fill them with light.
Might I become a luminous one?
First produced in Herrnhut, Germany, the Moravian star adorns Christmas trees and homes all over the world, in particular communities wherever Moravian missionaries have been sent. It represents the star that led those with questing hearts to find Jesus.
It is lit from within.
Lord, as we approach Advent, may my questing heart find you. Finding you, may I gaze upon you. As I gaze upon you, may You fill me with Your light so that I might point others to Jesus.