In each of us, there burns a Light.

And though it's called by many names,
the Scriptures say it best,
"This is the Light of Christ."

It seems to me that every man
can call himself a lamp.
And every man has but one quest -
to let his Light burn bright.

And when we come before the Lord,
His queries will be few...
"How brightly did your Light shine?" and
"Did your love ring true?"

Now, every lamp is different
No two will look the the same.
Some shine bright on dusted shelves,
midst tokens of their fame.

While others, lacking confidence
of home or family name,
are crusted with the hardened mud
of ignorance and shame.

Some rest in hallowed halls
of God's own temples' splendor
while others wake to find themselves
in poverty and squalor.

It matters not so very much
where each lamp comes to rest.
What matters most is how he lives
to fill the only quest.

Because he burns imperfectly
in mortal atmosphere,
there forms inside, on every glass
a velvet veil of ash.

Unless he scrubs it clean each day
through constant introspection
through searching prayer, unceasing pleas
for heavenly intervention,

the veil grows darker, thickens black
until the light grows dim.

Thus, though he's Light of Deity,
set forth to mark the way,
he sees himself, and he is seen
....."through a glass darkly."

It seems a fit coincidence
that "ashamed" begins with "ash"
For shame is always the darkest part
of the blackness in the soot.
and fear, the other lie, is always at its root.

Lies ~ all lies ~ of course
are based on fear and shame
Fed carefully by the little one,
who means to douse the flame.

copyright 1991
Julia Fairchild
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Through a Glass Darkly