Monday, January 24, 2011

The Lamp Stand

We have a wooden lamp stand in our family room, with a cheap shade on it and a light bulb! It gives us light, and I like it.  The reason I like it so much is because my dad carved the wood himself and made it.  He gave it to me shortly before his death. It's one of the few things I have from him.
I did not grow up in relationship with my dad.  He left my mother before I was born, and I rarely saw him.  In the first five years of my life I probably saw him 3 or 4 times.  Then, he moved and I was not told where he was.  I spent years looking for him, and asking my grandmother (his mother) where he had moved to.  But, it was to no avail, he didn't want me to know.
Later, at the age of 19, I surprised my grandmother with a visit, and lo and behold, my father was there too! I actually didn't know it was my father in the room, until he walked out of the house and I was told. "By the way, that was your father."  I jumped up and ran after him.  I was able to get between him and his car door before he stepped in, and I confronted his years of avoidance.  It really was not a pretty picture!
I didn't have contact again with my dad for years.  When my grandmother died, we reunited again. His heart had softened.  He gave me his address, and I began the journey of working to get to know my father.  It was a shallow experience for a long time, but I would write to him, visit him, work to see inside his heart.   My family and I visited him after our youngest son was born and spent about 3 days with him.  It was on that visit that he gave me the lamp stand.  He talked some on that visit about his experience with my mother, his desires, his disappointments.  I saw inside of him, a little bit, and I missed him.
My father died a couple years later, and I found it to be very hard.  The father I never really knew, he was hidden from me. He took any light that he may have had, and covered it up. And now, that he was dead, it felt like I all my chances were gone to experience a father. And, they were gone.  All I had was his lamp stand, so carefully molded from his hands.
I read this morning in Luke 11, the section where Jesus talks about the lamp being put on the lamp stand so others can see the light. It is not to be put in a drawer somewhere, and hidden away.  He says that our eyes are the lamps that light up our whole body, let it shine.  If we live in distrust and greed, our eyes and our body will become like a dark cellar. He instructs us to keep our life well-lit just like our best lighted room.
My life has, in the past, been dark and not well-lit.  Like my father and his lamp stand, I hid. It took me a long time to trust my heavenly Father in such a way that I could bring out the lamp stand and allow His Light to shine through me.  His light has now directed my path, and it has clarified the truth.  His Light has healed me, and blessed me, and scattered the darkness.
Yes, as soon as I ran towards the light, out of avoidance and denial, His light set me free. And, the reality is "I'm freer than I think I am!"  It's because His light is on my lamp stand, and I will not hide it again!
Say That Again, Jesus, open my eyes to Your Glorious Light, everyday!

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