I love my early morning hour, when I am up and no one else is around, save family cats walking to and fro, trying to find their perfect spots for the day. In the early morning hours, a world that constantly shouts is quiet and I can hear a whisper. For a long time I thought it was God who needed a hearing aid, my cries for grace and mercy seemingly ignored by deaf ears and non-reaction. But it was I who needed the hearing aid; my ears could no longer distinguish the true whispers of God from the cacophony of noise in the world around me.
When your ears are tuned to a shout, it’s difficult to hear a whisper.
This morning I sit in a room that feels flooded with light from new living room windows. They are crisp and clean, aglow with the morning. They still need a coat of paint so I have not yet hung the curtains that normally fall, covering half the window. Because of this, they expose more light than normal, broad naked windows allowing all the daylight to flood the room.
We can easily see outside, no obstructed view — and the outside can easily see us. On the one hand I love the light, but the other side of this is that I feel the vulnerability of exposure, of all the world seeing inside our home, our lives.
And yet – I love this light.
As I sit at my familiar spot, soft couch pillows at my back, open windows to my side and a variety of birds loudly chirping in the early morning hour, I think about the life-truth of what I feel. When I am honest with others I feel the glory of light along with the vulnerability of exposure. I am unguarded, open to criticism and attack, but also open to the joy of real relationship.
I am not one who feels like we need to be emotionally naked with everyone; I don’t feel it’s wise or healthy – and I don’t feel this is true vulnerability. Many of us have had the difficult experience of sharing deeply, wide-open with our fears and hurts, only to be wounded even further. But if we only share with people who we think are safe, we may lose out on growing in ways that we could never imagine.
What I know is true about my windows and light echoes over and over in my faith tradition. There are many verses on light but perhaps my favorite is in the first book of John. This book, the size of three modern-day blog posts, is full of love, light, and truth. In 1 John 7a the author writes this: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” It’s the beauty of relationship that comes from the willingness to let in light.
Today I will probably put up my curtains. Because life is not a metaphor, and real life in the city calls for some degree of privacy. But for now I sit bathed in light, and at peace.
What about you? Where have you found relationship in being vulnerable, in letting in light?