“…I am the way, and the truth and the life…” and “…I am the light of the world…” (John 14:6, John 8:12, NIV 1984).
We had just finished sending one of our patients to the ICU when my oncology fellow came to me and talked about her experience with the patient.
“He was lying in the chair and his blood pressure was dropping. He was still awake and scared. He reached up to me and said, “Please don’t let me see the light!”
There is the world we know and then there is the truth of life.
We live in a world of concrete reality---and we know that what we see is not enough. So we push ourselves to imagine something better, something lasting, something that we cannot lose when this life fails us.
But, as this patient discovered, the light at the end of it all may not be the light we’ve been looking for.
Our imaginations help us get through the dark times. We make ourselves believe that there is more to life than this---and then we discover more darkness than we can comprehend, more than we can imagine ourselves around. When life gets really dark, our imagination batteries wear out.
Only when the true Light comes can we finally see the truth of life. And the truth of life is really good.
And the Light is not just a switch we flip in order to live forever or erase our despair or succeed in this life.
The Light is a person.
The Light is one who points and leads, and walks beside us at the same time.
The Light exposes the vanity of life in the darkness, exposes our wasted efforts to gain that which we can only lose and reveals to us a love that is far more expansive and forgiving than any we can imagine.
The Light shows us that life is not nonsense. It shows us a path, a way that makes life eternally worthwhile. A way that leads to the truth of life, the Truth whose arms are opened wide.
Our imagination can help chase the dark away but can only take us so far.
I will not belittle any patient’s fear of death, for someday I will be there. But let my prayer for then become the same as my prayer for now: “Please God, let me see the Light!”
Please illuminate my life so that I may see you.