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A Strange Glow

My favorite season of the year is fall. There is so much to enjoy: the beautiful fall foliage, the nip in the air, football season, and the smell of wood burning from chimneys and campfires. I’ll also take apple cider or smores any day of the week before pumpkin spice anything! The season always seems short, as fall too quickly gives way to winter.

One of my favorite things about my grandparent’s house was the two maple trees in the front yard. While they provided great climbing trees throughout the year, my favorite time to see them was in the fall when they had beautiful orange and red leaves. So, when we moved into a house with no trees in our backyard, planting a maple tree was a no-brainer. The picture above is the tree in my backyard showing off the beauty of God’s creation.

One day last week, after enjoying the view of the tree from my window, I turned around to notice a strange glow on the wall. The wall itself is a pale yellow, but I was somewhat startled to see it a shade of orange-red.

I was curious to find out what was reflecting onto the wall, as I had never noticed this mysterious glow before. It turns out that the red glow was the sunlight bouncing off of the maple tree and landing on the wall. Maple leaves are not reflective! The sunlight was so powerful and the color so vivid, it cast a red glow onto surfaces around it.

2 Cor. 4:6 says this “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” The Creator of light has shone His love into our hearts, and we who know God’s glory through Christ should reflect this light. Perhaps we too should have a strange glow.

15 comments to A Strange Glow

  • Great insights and illustrations! Convicting and timely. Thanks Roger!

  • George O'Neel

    Beautiful tree! Beautiful blog!!

  • Paige Senseman

    I love how his creation mirrors his gospel! So beautiful!

  • Allie Schluckebier

    I have always been drawn to the illustration of light. Light is something that we see everyday, yet we never stop and think about all it does. If a room is completely dark, with no light at all, there is not one person who will be able to see anything or go anywhere. However, if one lamp is brought in, suddenly the entire room is lighter. It is the same way in our lives. The world is dark and sinful, but–as Christians–our lives should be lights guiding the world towards Christ. We are given a responsibility to live our lives for the Lord, pointing others toward Him. This light should be visible every moment of each day.

  • Lilly Sturgis

    Thank you for this insight. It is really beautiful that God makes known is nature through nature itself. I love the verse discussing this, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made…” (Romans 1:19-20).
    Often, it is disputed whether or not those who have not been directly told the Gospel can believe in God. I believe this is true due to the verse provided.
    At first, I questioned the use of the word “strange” when pertaining to our light in Christ. However, the more I pondered it, the more I realized how pertinent and accurate the adjective is in this particular example. Just as you did not expect the red glow on what is supposed to be plain yellow wall, unbelievers do not expect the light that Jesus Christ puts into believers. Our light is certainly strange to this world as we reflect the Lord through the Spirit. Our light ought to stand out in the same way, for sure. In this world, with all the darkness present, especially without Christ, we should all be depressed, hopeless, and joyless, consistently questioning. However, with Christ, our lives are drastically different and shocking. This “strange” light is especially bright when believers go through a difficult trial yet praise God and have His joy through it. We truly need to continue in our “strange glow” to witness to others.

  • Josiah Alberghene

    Nature and the things it does are beautiful – and we know why. ‘Cause our Creator is beautiful. As his creatures, we shine without even trying; how much more beautiful if we are radiant with the knowledge of WHY. That is a shine that will be noticed.

  • Macy Howard

    This is such a simple yet beautiful reminder of what it looks like to live as children of God; lights to a dark and hopeless world. One detail that you mentioned which stood out to me was that the maple leaves themselves did not have the ability to reflect light, but it was the power of the sunlight itself that created the reflection. That is so true of our relationship with God. There is nothing in us that gives us the ability to reflect His glory, but by the power of the Holy Spirit He can be illuminated in our lives through the fruit of His work in our hearts. It is both a humbling and encouraging reminder that God uses ordinary people incapable of reflecting glory alone, and by His power projects His truth and light to others despite our shortcomings.

  • Kasey Pot

    I giggled when I read that you planted a tree i your own backyard. What dedication to see the beauty of God’s creation. Reading this gave me the warm fuzzies. It was also a beautiful reminder. I am, during the fall, always drawn to the brightest of red and orange trees. But I can’t seem to also not recognize the tree that DON’T change color. They are simply brown; brown leaves and brown trunk, fading out as the cold comes by.
    I think it would be easy to become a brown tree for the winter. Allowing the cold to overtake, and reflecting nothing but death.
    With Christ,it is important that we light his light in, and we allow the seasons of change not to make us dull and harsh, but warm; bright and reflective of the glories of the son.

  • Megan Wright

    I think this is a really great example of what it looks like to let the light of Christ shine out of our lives. It isn’t an example that I would have ever thought of myself, but I think it fits really well. If we are truly saved and if we are truly living for Christ, there is literally nothing we can do to prohibit His light from shining for those around us to see. I certainly want to rely on God in a way that I reflect His love to everyone, just how this tree reflected the sunlight.

  • Luke Bear

    I agree Dr.O, we should have a “strange glow”about us. Romans 12 tells us to not be conformed to the ways of the world, therefore as christians we need to have that “glow” about us that says: there’s something different about him/her. I believe that glow is most easily seen by the ways we interact with others (rather than the deeds we do). Sharing things like how we see the Lord working in our life, and speaking of His goodness rather than sharing of our own accomplishments.

  • Jacob Wilson

    This post reminded me of just how cool and vibrant God’s creations can be. I think we tend to forget the power of God and that he has made all things. We need to shine bright for the word of Christ and show people God through us. This was a good reminder to always shine your light so bright that it reflects onto others.

  • Danial Choi

    I really like this post. It shows that even something as simple as a red glow can bring out the beauty in our eyes and shows the beauty of God’s creation. Often, I would not take the time to think about something like a red glow. I would just look at it and be like, “Oh that’s interesting.” But reading this, I should really take the time to really put such things into perspective because there might be a chance that God is speaking to us in such a way.

  • Noah Ayers

    I love this analogy! As Christians we should appear different to the rest of this world. The light of Christ should shine through us in everything we do – whether it be our conversations, relationships, jobs, etc.

  • Elijah Engle

    What a fantastic illustration and connection to 2 Corinthians 4:6! It’s amazing how God can use such a simple and beautiful thing, like the colors of the leaves in autumn, to help show us where we need to grow and bring us closer to him! Now I know that every year when the colors of the leaves start to change, I’ll remember this illustration and this verse will come to mind. Thanks for sharing, Dr. O!