James has a new obsession… It started at Christmas and has continued into the New Year… It was probably triggered by all of the bright shining lights that he so enjoyed seeing on the Christmas tree, around the fireplace, on the outside of the house, on the large bush we have outside our front door… All of these lights were dutifully taken down and carefully packed away by twelfth night, much to the dismay of James, and so he has taken to putting on his own light show instead!
Now, as soon as it is dusk, James patrols around the house switching on every light and every lamp that he can find. He switches our front entrance way light on, as well as the light outside of our back door. Anything that lights up, he’s there ensuring that it shines brightly!
We’ve tried sneaking along behind him, trying to save the planet (and our electricity bill) a little by switching some of them off, but he always spots us and with a sigh that develops into a grumble of disapproval he resolutely returns to switch them all back on again. He heads upstairs, opens doors, switches lights on, closes doors and heads back down stairs again (our clue that this has happened is the upstairs shower room extractor fan coming on!)
We live only a mile or two from Bournemouth International Airport, and I harbour suspicions that a few pilots might mistake our house for the homing beacon for the runway… We may also have joined the Great Wall of China as being visible from the International Space Station!
I realise that James isn’t alone as an Autistic young person fascinated with, and a bit obsessed by, lights and to be fair it’s not an entirely new obsession for him, he’s always loved torches…
(remember this? https://theadditionalneedsblogfather.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/this-little-light-of-mine/)
…traffic lights, street lights, and the actual runway lights at the airport among others, but this development of having all the lights on at home is a new one for him. We might need to invest in a few light switch covers, or replace them all with remote control switches (and hide the remote!)… it might be cheaper!
James has through this, however, once again been used by God to teach us and to minister to us… I have been reminded of these wonderful words:
“Lord, you keep the lamp of my life burning brightly. You are my God. You bring light into my darkness.” Psalm 18:28
“The light shines in the darkness. But the darkness has not overcome the light.” John 1:5
“While you have the light, believe in it. Then you can become children of light.” John 12:36a
I love the idea of James being one of the “children of light”, and that God “brings light into the darkness” for him, and for each of us that trust in that light. I trust that God is working in James and through James, and that the words of Paul to the Ephesians are true for James too… “At one time you were in the dark. But now you are in the light because of what the Lord has done. Live like children of the light. The light produces what is completely good, right and true.” Ephesians 5:8-9
So tonight, when James goes on his evening rounds, dutifully switching on every light inside and outside of the house, and as I await a call from the Civil Aviation Authority, I will smile as I am reminded that he is a child of God, a child of the light, and that as he lights up our house so he lights up our hearts, sharing a powerful God given message. A message that he cannot verbalise, but that is all the more powerful for it; a message that light has come into the world, and that the darkness cannot overcome it and is defeated forever.
Let’s all “live like children of the light” shall we?
11th January 2018
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Bible references: NIrV translation © Biblica