“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” (Ps 36:9)
We don’t see light. Light is the means by which we see. Our eyes can only comprehend things touched by light. In a manner of speaking light creates the things we see. God’s light; His illuminating insight, is the means by which we come to have illumination and insight. Things untouched by God’s light must remain in darkness.
I didn’t know it at the time because I was a first time dad, but I realized later that I always spoke to my daughter as if she was a grown up. I used words on her that suited my vocabulary, not a three year old’s. I wish I could say I did it on purpose so I’d look like a really smart parent trying to help their kid become a great achiever, but the truth is more like this: I’m not good at small talk. Really, I’m not. I don’t know how to jabber like some people who can carry on a perfectly pleasant conversation about nothing for hours on end. I tried. I got down on her level physically. I took the time to listen to her little words. But when it came time to talk back I used my own big words. She grew up hearing an adult vocalization of the world. I think its been to her advantage. She’s smart and she can explain things well.
This is the way the gospel works its way out in us. God speaks to us in terms of what He is making us into, not in terms of what we are at the moment. He sees the full life – the full vocabulary of living – and he keeps giving it to us. He gets down on our level physically and he listens to our small talk. Thank God for the patient lessons and the willingness of our Father God to play with us; to love us into Christ, the hope of glory.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Ephesians 4:15)
A great habit to be in when writing is this: when you are really blocked and can’t seem to find the way forward, sit back and ask yourself ‘What do I really want to say here?” It sounds stupid but it works. It is easy to get lost trying to figure out how to say something just right and forget what we were saying in the first place. This works in relationships too. We get so wrapped up trying not to hurt someone’s feelings or making sure we say something perfectly. Take a step back. Assess the situation. Feel what you really feel. Think about what you’d really like the other person to know. Say it as clearly and kindly as you can. This is not only the “grown up” way to speak to each other, it is the way we help each other grow up into fullness in Jesus – both by the saying and by the hearing of truth spoken in love.
The way of Jesus is narrow because it fits only into one set of footprints, but it is broad because those footprints are so much bigger than ours.