Metaphor Monday: Light in Unexpected Places

by | Jun 17, 2024 | beauty, contemplation, faith, grace, metaphor, scripture

Last Saturday evening as night was gathering in and we were driving home, I saw peeking in and out of the oaks that lined the road a beautiful array of sunset colors – dark blue grays, brilliant orange and yellow. The odd thing was, it wasn’t to the west, it was in the direction of home – north. I suggested a slightly different route to speed us more quickly to this transient display and as we passed under the highway, the vista opened to our north as we approached Yankee Lake and the Lower Wekiva Preserve that borders our home. We pulled to the side, quickly aimed our phones and did our best to capture this amazing light show. In just a few minutes the light expired and we could but hold the moment in a more expansive memory and in the smaller digital capacity of our phones.

I’ve been pondering this memory for a few days, allowing the magnificence of the moment and the colorful light to illume my  cognitive space, which often makes metaphorical connections. I’ll offer a few here for your consideration and contemplation.

Light from unexpected directions

When sunsets unfold, we expect the most spectacular display of light, color and shape to be in the western sky. Saturday night’s western sky was flat gray — dark and dull. But, oh, the north! How it was given the unexpected gift of being the direction of interest and God’s canvas that night!

Where am I expecting God to move in known spaces, but the Holy is actually creating something new in an unexpected space?

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19 NIV

Sunsets in the north

I am in the midst of preparation of a Life Compass Practice which I’ll be offering an online group this fall. I’ve often used this practice with clients as a tool to reorient and reconnoiter within the landscape of their life. The north is symbolic of guidance, and the west is the direction of endings. What transpires when a shift happens, and sunset is seen where guidance is expected?

What have I been using as a “North Star” to guide me, that God is asking me to release? What limiting beliefs and attitudes need to be cast off?

Principles and practicums

What I’ve noticed with these metaphorical forays is that God, not being one to waste anything in the cosmic economy, gently brings these to my awareness because I’ll be putting them into practice in my journey in the not-too-distant future. This aspect of God’s courteousness, as Julian of Norwich puts it, affirms God’s goodness through his patience and kindness, even at work in sunset light and color coming from an unexpected direction.

We can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Romans 8:28 MSG


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