Light on dark

They were desperate.

Their drugs were all that mattered.
They didn’t want to waste a single rock.

So the contrast had to be sharp. They ripped all the carpets out of the room. And painted the floor black.

When they dropped the white, it’d show up best on black.

Bobby Hayden was telling his story in the chapel at the Rescue Mission.

. . . to men and women who understoodthe homeless, the hopeless, the drug addicts—the ones trying to break free.

. . . and to men and women who wanted to understand more—the sheltered, the filled, the employed—the ones wanting to live even more free.

bobby-hayden-jr

I felt the outward contrast. Even though I was in blue jeans like many others, I knew I still stood out. My clothes weren’t dirty. My hair was washed. I drove up in a car; I would leave in one.

I didn’t know all that Bobby was talking about.

  • I’ve never been a rock star in L.A.
  • I’ve never looked for fresh veins to shoot heroine in. (Sugar is my self-medicating drug of choice, through the mouth.)
  • I’ve never spent even one night in a cardboard box, and certainly not ten years.

There’s a depth of darkness I’ve never seen.

But I do know the light Bobby talked about.

I wondered if the man on the third pew knew.  I watched him as Bobby spoke. He was a stone statue. His head was shrouded in a black hoodie. His heart was covered in a dingy flannel shirt.

He didn’t sing “I’ll Fly Away” when the others did. He didn’t lift a hand in praise. He didn’t sit close to friends.

He seemed dead.

Yet he’s the one. One that Jesus died for, still lives for. Jesus wants this man to see the contrast between dark and light.

As we say, Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live.

He came to turn corpses of stone into breathers of life.

I don’t want to be another suit and tie on a Sunday morning pew, sitting quietly by another suit and tie.

I don’t want to settle comfortably between good and better.

I want to rip out the carpets so I’ll be a bright light to a dark world.

Alive. Not dead. That’s the biggest contrast. That’s the one Bobby discovered in Jesus. That’s the one he was testifying about.

That’s the one he was preaching to the man in the black hoodie. And to the woman in the silver necklace.

Jesus is light on dark. Rip out the carpets and see.

* * *

revised from the archives

 

8 thoughts on “Light on dark

  1. Sheila Kimball

    I don’t want to be another suit and tie on a Sunday morning pew, sitting quietly by another suit and tie.

    I don’t want to settle comfortably between good and better.

    I want to rip out the carpets so I’ll be a bright light to a dark world.

    ME, TOO, Lisa. No Sunday Morning smiles just for show. Great post. Sharing!! Thanks.

  2. blankJune

    It’s a good word, Lisa, and in my heart and mind my zeal matches yours. As Believers we are all called to be a bright light in a dark (increasingly dark!) world. Our motivation is the same, but our methodology may differ. God doesn’t call everyone to the jungles, or the soup kitchens. But it is important that we know where He is calling us, and that we obey that call. Have a blessed day!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      You’re exactly right, June. Everybody’s “how” looks differently. I’m so thankful the Lord calls us according to how he’s gifted us. None of us have to do the exact same things since we’re each gifted in different ways. The Lord is so wise.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      We’re on the same page, Heather. There’s all manner of darkness out there, and we don’t have to acquaint ourselves with each of it, because our common ground can be the bright light of Jesus.

  3. blankLaura Thomas

    Stopping by from Thought Provoking Thursdays…. Wow Lisa, thanks for this challenging post! I love when God gives us moments of clarity, like your moment at the Rescue Mission. Light and dark, life and death- it doesn’t get much clearer than that. I have goosies! Blessings to you 🙂

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