83 Jesus said: The images are revealed to the man, and the light which is in them is hidden in the image of the light of the Father. He shall be revealed, and his image is hidden by his light.
Main Point: This verse points out the difference between the way we recognize light and image, or form. We see a form or an image, whether it is a person, a stone, a mountain, or tree, but the light within form is not always so visible to us. We may just see an ordinary stone, or an ordinary person and think nothing more about it. However, it seems that once we recognize the marvel that is in front of us, we recognize the light within the form; in this moment it feels as though this grace has been revealed by God, and indeed is of God. Conversely, we recognize God’s light in the kind words of a friend, in little synchronicities, or in the vast beauty of a sunset, but we do not ever see a singular particular form that can be called God’s image. God’s image is everywhere and nowhere to be found.
New Light: This light within form is always present, but we must be awake to see this light. To me it is as though we first see a shape, or physical qualities that identify for us what we are looking at. And as we take a small journey into the form, we realize what a miracle this form is, but it is not only the form that is so awesome, it is the spirit within that gives it a radiance, a sparkle that literally brings it to life. I believe that it sometimes it takes something bold to happen in our lives to help us awaken, to see this radiance in all things. God’s light is often revealed in moments when we are not expecting it – such as during times of great stress, emotional turmoil, or profound love, but what is uniquely revealed is always the light or grace inherent in the form, not particular form itself.
Implications: One implication that comes readily to mind is that teaching story about helping a bedraggled stranger only to find out later that the stranger was actually a holy person, Jesus perhaps. We cannot always see or know holiness by our customary outward view of a person, which is just a form housing an inward light. We must look with fresh eyes through the outward form, with the same eyes with which God sees. A good question might be, “Who are we beyond our form?”
Problems: The traditional non-inclusive language is noticeable in these phrases relating to God as “Father” and “He.” Actually this doesn’t bother me too much, but it seems to me that this phraseology leads to misconceptions about God as being particular forms, or an image such as a patriarchic figure.