Light has been very important to me since my late teen years. As you might know, I studied photography and in those studies I learned a lot about light – its nature, its importance, its qualities and when and where you need it.
When I was in school there was a huge philosophical/artistic debate about light. Many people believed that the only true photography was in using only the light that was available – sun, overcast sky, street lights, lamp light – and that adding any other light source was somehow a violation of artistic integrity. My 2nd year instructor was a pragmatic street photographer from New York City. One class he declared himself an “available light” photographer. He then went on to say that the flash unit in his camera bag was available light and he would use it, when it was needed.
I learned about the nature and quality of different light sources and how to light a scene, which was especially useful during my years shooting videos. I learned that what made a photograph good was the light. After all, what we see is only the light being reflected back to us off the surfaces of the things in front of us. “Good” lighting can make something that is rather boring to look at, appear more dramatic and interesting.
I also learned how to function in darkness. I built myself a darkroom, which by its nature is a place with little and sometimes no light at all. I got pretty good at finding my way around in the darkroom. But, I was finding my way, not because it could see anything, but from my memory of where things were, when the lights were on.
Let me state the obvious, light is important. Without the light of the sun, there would be no life on earth. Without light, it would not only be incomprehensibly dark, but also bitterly cold.
A couple of months ago I had to change the light in our kitchen. I got a lot of complaints when I did it, because I replaced the old 60watt bulb with a 100watt bulb. My family found it far too bright. But, the reason I did it was that I have found, as I have gotten older, that I need more light then I used to.
We all need light. And, I would say that we all need good light. The kind of light that shows us the path before us, warms us and has the quality that creates a better more interesting world for us. This being a devotional, I am sure that you can guess where I am going with this. Jesus declared that he was the light of the world. But, more than that he said, that we are to be light also.
As we fill our lives with his light, we then in turn reflect that light to everyone around us. We become a source of light that can guide, warm up and make life better and more interesting for those we come in contact with. So, become “available light.”
The Sunday Gathering continues to be closed, but you can always catch the Sunday Service at: www.nbuc.ca at 9am and 11am.