One of my favorite spots for relaxing in my house is looking out the window that faces my rose garden. Seated in my grandmother’s red velvet rocking chair, I am transported immediately back to my childhood. That same rocker sat in our living room, also looking at a garden. I remember sitting on my mother’s lap as we looked out at the landscape together. I don’t recall what was said, but I remember the sense of contentment with being in my mother’s arms and looking out at our world. The view wasn’t of her rose garden, but it did afford a lovely scene of the front garden with its happy white trellis of red roses covering the porch leading outside from the living room.
Here in my North Carolina garden, the view is different. But I am forming new memories sitting in that rocker. This spring, a dill plant decided it was going to appear out of nowhere. It must have wintered over in its sheltered spot and was ready to delight me with its lacey blossoms. Gaining strength from its long winter nap, it produced a stem that was a good half-inch thick. Then it burst into bloom with delicate crowns of flowers followed by lovely seedpods.
One morning after a recent rainstorm, the dill plant sparkled with sunlight on the drops of water still lingering on its blossoms. I happened to notice how intensely brilliant the light was coming from these minute specks of water that had yet to evaporate in the heat of the day. Sometimes they reflected a rainbow of colors like a prism caught in a beam of sunlight. But other times, they shone a brilliant white light that was almost blinding. Looking across the garden, I noticed that a spiderweb had garnered a spray of dew inside my blue campanula blossoms.
This play of light on water set me pondering about the light of God. We take for granted that the sun will shine every day. We know that you can’t stare at the sun because its brilliance would damage your eyes. We’ve all looked at a sunset, only to have spots appear before our eyes. But what about the brilliant light of God? The Lord took extra care with Moses, so he didn’t see Him face to face. Yet, we know that Moses’s face glowed after he’d spent time on the mountain with God. There are numerous examples in the Bible describing the brilliance of angelic visitations. And Jesus’s eyes are described as looking like flames of fire. The very star that guided the wise men must have been brilliant compared to all the rest in the night sky, especially without any pollution. That star outshone all the others. The light around the throne of God forms a rainbow.
Light that is so bright you cannot look upon it. That is our God. The scripture says He dwells in unapproachable light.* Take a moment to think about that. Only when He creates the new heaven and earth will we be able to dwell with Him and experience His light without being struck dead. I often meditate on what it will be like to live every day in His direct light. It will no longer be unapproachable.
One of my other favorite places to sit and watch the sunlight is by the creek, especially in the early morning. The sun plays tag with water droplets created by obstacles in the creek. The water sparkles like diamonds flowing on top of the velvet surface. Many of our streams end up with waterfalls. Often if the sun is just right, a rainbow appears from the light hitting the droplets of water as they cascade through the air. When I sailed along the coast of Connecticut, I remember how the water would sparkle like diamonds scattered on the surface. On a clear night, the stars in the sky shine with brilliance even from thousands of light-years away.
The little things in life, such as dewdrops and raindrops, lead us to the One who is larger than life. Such a great God we serve.
“In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”
*1 Timothy 6:16 NIV