Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Translucent versus Transparent

And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, (Luke 7:37 NASB)

Yesterday, I wrote about alabaster and the use of alabaster to make window panes.  I called those panes transparent, but that was not quite accurate. When I sent the information about alabaster windows to my son, he searched for a picture of the windows and replied back, "You can't really see through the windows. They just let the light through. Its's really pretty, though."  

Ryan is correct. The appropriate term for those alabaster windows is translucent. They are not clear, but thin enough to let the light shine through. The result is that of a gentle glowing light. He is correct about the effect. It's really lovely. 

The alabaster does not let the harsh light of noonday sun through in all it's intensity. It diffuses it and lets it through without glare. Those inside can look at the panes, and thus the light, without discomfort because of the translucency of the panes. 

That is exactly how we should be with the light of God inside us. The glory of God is so intense, so bright and shining, that we cannot see it directly. It is only in eternity that we will have eyes that can see Him as He is, in all His majesty. 

Our witness of Christ should, in some ways, be like the alabaster panes, translucent and diffusing the light just enough to allow a lovely glow rather than a blinding, harsh spotlight. We are rarely drawn to approach a spotlight, but soft lamplight in a window is a different matter entirely. So should we be with the light of God, allowing our inner light to be glowing in such a way that others are drawn to the light inside us. 

Are people drawn to the light of Christ in us or do we emit a blinding spotlight that is off-putting? Truth must be spoken, but tempered with love, offering reconciliation with Christ rather than condemnation. 

Pray today for translucence that allows the warm glow of the love of Christ to shine through us in such a way that our loved ones will be drawn to the glow and then to Christ Himself. 
Link to last might's post: