Where Are the Pieces of Light?

Sun through the branches.

This morning, as I spent time with Jesus, talking with him about you and this space and asking him what you most needed to receive today, I held out my hands before him in a cupped posture, waiting to receive whatever he placed in those cupped hands to give you, and saw several pieces of light land in my cupped and open hands. 

They looked like the gold bricks you see in cartoons, thick and solid and bigger than a candy bar, and they were made of pure light, tumbling down into my hands, one resting on top of the other. 

The question presented itself: 

Where are the pieces of light in your life right now? 

For centuries upon centuries, Christian spirituality has used the language of consolation and desolation to describe points of light and darkness in our spiritual journey with God. Consolation is that feeling of being buoyed, filled with life, and surrounded by an abiding presence of love. Desolation, on the other hand, is accompanied by feelings of abandonment, grief, and sometimes despair.

Desolation in the spiritual life is complex, I’ve found, because its source can be quite varied. Sometimes the inexplicable events of life land us inside its terrain. Sometimes the discouraging and oppressive powers at work in this world conspire to push us inside desolation’s borders. And sometimes, perhaps surprisingly, desolation comes when God makes himself absent for reasons only God may know. 

But consolation is a bit simpler.

Consolation is present wherever there’s life — wherever life and joy and peace and their enlivening currents are found.

Many spiritual directors encourage the pursuit of consolation when it’s present, believing that where life and joy are found, there God is also found, for God is the source of life and joy.

So today, as I hold these “bricks of light” in my hands for you, I ask you to consider where light is evident in your world today. 

Where do you see glimmers and pieces of light shining as you look about you and your life right now? How might you move toward that light and joy today? How might you pursue its consolation even more?