Pull the blinds up!

I am generally known as fairly slap-dash – my Mum describes me as someone who gets things done, but isn’t too worried about it being perfect, and that I’d rather have some fun along the way than achieve perfection. Two common themes in my boarding school reports were about the messiness of my room and that I needed to take more time over my work…

 

However, there is one thing I have become fairly compulsive about… For the past 6 months or so I’ve been working at a desk in my bedroom – next to a window which has a blind on it. For some reason when Sam opens that blind he never quite opens it fully… And so, I compulsively pull it up the last few inches – to let in some extra light. Then, whenever I sit down to work, I also move the mirror that sits in the window ledge onto our bed – so that even more light can get in…

 

I’m one of those people that feels it as the days get darker and shorter… I don’t know if there’s people that don’t feel it… But I know there are a lot of us that do!

 

Every other year I have just felt sorry for myself as the days got shorter and darker… At uni I self-diagnosed myself with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) – I doubt I actually have it – but I like the idea of having a lamp that shines on me throughout the winter diagnosed by my doctor…

 

But this year I realised how widespread this sense of dread is… and how many other people feel more tired and low as this season approaches…

 

It made me all the more determined to pull the blinds all the way up and to move anything that blocks out sunlight from coming into our room. But it also made me realise, that – like Sam, some people forget to pull their blinds up – or don’t even realise extra light would help…

 

I wonder whether we could turn our thinking around – rather than feeling sorry for ourselves as we move towards winter… might we prepare ourselves for a time of year where there are so many opportunities to bless others. Darkness means that light is all the more noticeable.

 

Ion Keith Falconer famously said: “I have but one candle to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.”

 

As we go into this winter, with people potentially more isolated and closed in than normal… How can we bring light and warmth into their lives? How might we share our light, but also remind each other that there is a light shining on them… if they will just pull up the blinds to let it in…

 

These two questions reminded me of two Bible passages – I’m going to read them – then I wonder if you might take them and read them through a few times… treat them as a boiled sweet in your mouth – roll the words around, savour them, reflect on them… Pay attention to what they bring up, how they make you feel, what they prompt you to do and get in touch with whoever God puts on mind as you’re reading them…

 

Matthew 5:14-16:

 

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

John 8:12:

 

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”