Sunday, February 10, 2013

Take 5 with Kathy - "Light dispels darkness..."

our entryway skylight
One aspect I have always loved about our home since moving here six years ago is the abundance of light that saturates it. A three-paned skylight and three large glass-block windows flood the entryway with light regardless of the weather. Tall picture windows in the living room, which is partially open to the entryway, augment this bright airy atmosphere. The open-concept kitchen/dining area/family room features a second skylight, bay window and patio doors adding to the constant good lighting throughout the daytime. While I struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder in our former home, that hasn’t been much of a problem here.

What I do notice, however, is the marked reduction in light after a heavy snow. The first time this happened here, I walked down the hallway from my bedroom wondering, “Why is it so dark in the house?” I soon discovered the skylights were completely covered with snow blocking significant light from entering. It was an eerie effect which somewhat dampened my mood.

our kitchen skylight
How much different my perspective changed though when the snow began to gradually melt away exposing an exquisite spectacle I would never have seen otherwise! As sunlight filtered through the crystalline designs of snow on the glass, I rejoiced in the beauty God creates in the midst of varying degrees of darkness, dullness, and partial obscurity. This is especially surreal on a clear night as I peer up at the stars and moon peeking in between the frosted sparkling snow patterns.

As I write this (Friday morning), we are expecting a major Nor’easter to begin roaring through tonight and Saturday. With predictions of 35-50 centimetres of snow and winds gusting to 80-100km/hour, I can be certain our home will be darker than usual for a couple days. But, no matter; I know the sun will shine again and eventually the snow will melt away allowing the powerful light of the sun to once again fill our home.

Isn’t that so much like our lives? Some days, I am full of joy and happiness and things are going so well. But suddenly an unexpected email informs me of a friend’s cancer diagnosis and things immediately go dark. As we walk through this with her, tests reveal they caught it early – a ray of light penetrates the darkness. Subsequent tests bring more encouraging news – the mood begins to change and we enjoy an afternoon of singing praise songs, chatting, and laughing together with her daughter and another friend. A few days later, we all lead the worship time during our women’s Bible study morning – God’s Spirit shines through the midst of uncertainty and radiates into the hearts of other women. The powerful light of God’s Son floods our souls!

My life experiences are teaching me that God’s power creates more stunning wonders and surprisingly awesome revelations during times of relative darkness, pain, loss, and insecurity than when things are going really well. For a while, it can be bleak and discouraging and it seems God is far away or silent. But, He never leaves me there. When I trust Him, surrender each day to Him, obey what He shows me in the moment, gradually the warmth of the Holy Spirit begins to melt away the fear, anxiety, hurt, disappointment or whatever else may be preventing the loving comfort of God from filtering into my soul. Over time, I begin to see the way God is shaping something beautiful that reflects His glorious light as He works in and through the happenings of my life.

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
Jesus Christ Himself said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12)[i] His disciples discovered this one dark night when they were fishing in the middle of a lake. Struggling at the oars due to strong winds, the men thought they saw a ghost walking toward them and they cried out in terror. “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid,” a voice called to them. Only as the figure came closer did they realize it was Jesus whose light pierced the enveloping darkness. Once He climbed into the boat, the wind died down. (Matthew 14:22-32)

I John 1:5 says, “…God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” It was God who created light out of darkness (Genesis 1:3) and He “has made this Light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” God sent Jesus to give “life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. (His) light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:4-5)

I am so grateful for God’s light which dispels my darkness!

Until next Sunday,


[i] All Scripture is from the New Living Translation
*All photos by Kathy Lai


  1. A skylight can be this overwhelming, eh. :) The abundance of light really can – to the point of letting you focus on the little things, which as a whole make this world a beauty. And it is so much better than you suffering from winter depression again! Do you plan to add more skylights? Don’t forget the strategic placement, huh, Kate? :) So, you can gain both on the aspects of curb appeal and daylighting. -->Tiffany

  2. Light gives life to the space and blends the overall interior design. And the best thing about having a skylight is that it paves entry to natural light while being a wonderful decor at the same time. Never hesitate to invest on skylights at your home, Kathy! :)

    -Joanne Barragan


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