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Steven J. Lund - Flashes of Light


As we drive through life’s journey, there will be flashes of light! The Lord promised Isaiah, “I will make darkness light before them.” Think about this. Life often presents itself as an incessant gray wall stretching off into nowhere, but here and there, if you watch for them, flickering assurances of God’s love for us will become evident.

Once, on a business trip, I landed in predawn darkness at an airport in Asia and wearily found a car and driver. The trip would take a couple of hours, so I used my overcoat as a cushion and positioned myself in the left corner of the back seat, planning to sleep for a while. But my attention became riveted on the moonlit landscape of that exotic place, with its mysterious wooded hills and shadowy open expanses.

As the morning sky gradually lightened, I saw evidence of an estuary on the left and an approaching bridge. As we drove onto the bridge, I was disappointed to find that the view was blocked on both sides by tall concrete-slab walls that apparently had been erected to contain the traffic noises of the expressway. I absently stared at the wall opposite me, wondering what was beyond as I whirred by it at high speed.

As we left the bridge and the barricade ended, I glanced back at the vista that I had not been able to see and noted that it was just as I had imagined: a large body of water with a forested far edge and a few boats coming and going.

I found myself leaning forward to see farther behind us to confirm that, through the morning fog, a large sailboat was approaching the seaway under the far end of the bridge. Suddenly my jet-lag-muddled brain snapped into a moment of clarity as I wondered, “How did I know to look for that sailboat?” I could not have known it was there, but somehow I did. Somehow I had been looking for it.

In fact, I realized, none of what I saw in the fully revealed vista had surprised me. I seemed to know where to find the wooded outline of the far shore, the barges, and the building on the distant rise. But how?

It dawned on me that the slabs of the massive concrete wall on the bridge had small gaps between them of a fraction of an inch. As we had sped across the bridge, my eyes had been fixed upon the blur of gray concrete punctuated by minute flashes of bright light from the morning sun through those narrow slits—slits too small for me to detect anything but bright flickers and flashes. Yet somewhere in my mind, undetected information had been transmitted in those bursts of light that was apparently compiled and subliminally stitched together into a latent vision of what lay beyond. I knew what was there before I knew that I knew. And I would have missed the marvel of it all if I had not turned back to look.

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