I live in an old house. Along with the charms of age, this old house has some surprises. One of these is the angle of the top three stairs leading to the bedrooms. One stair is too short, while the next one is too deep. From above, the angles look a bit like a jack-o’-lantern smile. It was a creative renovation solution from a previous owner who finished the attic, but it takes some getting used to.
When I need to take the stairs at night, I’m careful to grasp both handrails. Before bed the other week, my husband was plotting how he might install some subtle lighting on those tricky stairs for safety. While I could have just learned to deal with our dark hallway and the jagged steps, I was moved by his consideration of such a small thing.
In a similar way, God’s light on our path is a demonstration of his loving consideration for us. The often-memorized John 3:16–19, “For God so loved the world...” goes on to say that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.... Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light.” Before God broke in, we were in darkness. But he did not leave us in darkness. “He will not let your foot slip” (Ps. 121:3).
This promise reminds me of one of the prayers I hear in church Sunday after Sunday: “May we, whom the Spirit lights, give light to the world.” We receive God’s light in the darkness when we gather each week, and we carry his light to others.
My favorite songs are like light on the stairs. One that comes to mind is Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”: “Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is ...1