One morning, in the midst of preparing for work, my attention was caught by something I had not seen (noticed?) before – a patch of sunlight bathing a small section of my living room wall.
I longed to capture the image, desiring strongly to hold on to the memory of the image and how I felt seeing the unexpected show up in a common place. I tried capturing the image with my camera but, even from various positions, the images on the screen of my camera did not reflect what I was seeing with my natural eyes.
“How do you capture sunlight?” I wondered. The answer came in the form of a thought, “Through your skin.”
With that insight, I stepped forward into the beams of sunlight, lifted my face, and felt the warmth bathe my skin.
A desire came to capture my face lit with the sun, another way of holding on to the memory of the moment. One, two, three photographs … the last two with my eyes closed.
I looked at the three photographs and liked the way I smiled in two of them; however, it was the third that I found the most moving and powerfully poignant. Light seemed to be pouring out through a deep crack that extended from my forehead to my chin.
Words from Leonard Cohen’s, “Anthem” came to mind:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
These lyrics remind me of the pressure we too often feel to present ourselves to others as having it all together, when the truth is that we are broken people, and He can use our brokenness to bring healing to others. (Think of the fact that there is no record of Jesus ever giving an unbroken loaf of bread to anyone. Repeatedly in the Gospels the following sequence is found: He blessed the bread, He broke the bread, and He give the broken pieces to those around Him. For example, Mark 6:41; Mark 8:6; Mark 14:22).
The lyrics above speak of light entering through a crack or broken place, but as I looked at the photograph above, I realized that light not only enters through a broken place. It can also pour out.
I thought of vulnerability and the mask I had worn for years, hiding my true self from others as a defense. Thankfully, that mask has cracked and I see the woman He created me to be beginning to shine through.
(Linking with Emily for Imperfect Prose )