by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Yesterday morning, I woke up with words in my head. I’m a writer – so that is not completely unusual – but these words were. Ephesians 5:13.
Huh, I thought. Ephesians. Wait – is that in the New Testament? It’s not that I haven’t read the Bible ever. I just haven’t read it recently.
I tried to clear my head of the words, but as I went about my morning, the words yelled louder and louder in my head. I think there might have been one point where it yelled, “EPHESIANS 5:13 YOU STUPID BEEYATCH!”
Somewhere in the house, we have a Bible. I never really knew why I kept it around, but now it seems as if it was for just such an occasion. After a little digging, I came up with our red pleather King James Bible and looked through the list of books to see if I could find Ephesians.
I missed it the first time.
Huh, I thought. Maybe Ephesians isn’t a book of the Bible after all and my head is messing with me. After all, I’m getting on in years. Maybe this is the age that the voices started for my grandmother.
“Look again,” the voice said. “The New Testament.”
So I looked again. Not one who takes kindly to being told what to do, however, I first looked in the books of the Old Testament. HA! Take that, voice.
It wasn’t there.
Sighing, I moved on to the New Testament.
Lo and behold, there was Ephesians on page 588. I turned to chapter 5, verse 13 and was dumbfounded. The print was so small I couldn’t read it. Fortunately for me, the eye doctor has already discovered my aging eyes and I have *gulp* progressive lenses. There is such dignity in aging. I put them on.
This is what I read: “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”
WTF?? Who am I reproving? And is reproving it making it become real somehow?
I was not enlightened. Suddenly I remembered why it was that I hadn’t read my King James Bible in a long, long, lonnnnng time. But the good news is that I was hearing voices in my head telling me of random Bible verses, so I was most likely going dotty. Maybe soon it wouldn’t matter in the slightest to me whether I was reproving someone and making it manifest by light or not. Mostly, I was wondering how long I’d be able to hide my encroaching insanity from Jim and the boys.
If only there was some newfangled way to find a translation for such a verse. If only I had a world of information at my fingertips – maybe I would see that there was some applicable message in there after all and I wasn’t crazy. If only. If only.
And then it dawned on me. If one can find the meaning of a Pasadena mudslide on the Internet, (if you don’t know, I would strongly suggest you don’t look it up. Really.) then perhaps there might just be some Bible-speak translator. In other words, certainly if you can find the profane on the Internet, wouldn’t you also be able to find the profound?
Thank goodness for Google. I typed in Ephesians 5:13 an this is what I got:
“New International Version (© 1984):
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
International Standard Version (©2008)
But everything that is exposed to the light becomes visible,
GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Light exposes the true character of everything
Bible in Basic English
But all things, when their true quality is seen, are made clear by the light: because everything which is made clear is light.”
Plus about ten other choices.
I turned on the light.
Voila. I could see things. Maybe this was the mystery of healing my myopia – turning on the light. I took off my glasses. No miracle occurred so I put them back on. So much for that.
Light exposes the true character of everything. This much I know to be true.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had something I’ve been afraid to look at – some deep dark fear I’ve kept pushed in the shadows until I decided I could no longer stand the sheer terror of avoiding it any longer. A funny thing about fear though. It almost never withstands light.
I have, at times in my life, been a very frightened and fearful person. My initial reaction to my recent job layoff was fear. I’d had the job for eight years. I hated it, but it was a steady income. I’d known for years that I should leave – but security held me firmly in place. When I got the news, I was terrified in spite of the teeny voice in the back of my head saying, “Waaahooooooo…..now I have no choice but to WRITE!”
When I could no longer stand the fear, I took a look at it. Figuratively, I exposed that fear to the light. Boom baby! A whole world opened up as I saw the job loss for what it truly was. Opportunity in its purest form. I haven’t looked back since, and my life is full of new exciting directions that I would never have taken had I stayed safely ensconced in my miserable, crappy job.
I’ve done the same thing with relationships. When I was married to my last husband, I knew how miserable I was. But the thought of taking Tanner and starting over again on my own was downright scary. Without giving details, my hand was forced and Tanner and I were on our own. It was wonderful.
These are just a few examples. There are many times in my life where my hand hasn’t been forced – but I’ve made the leap anyway because to not make the leap seemed – lifeless. And to me, not taking risks is really no life at all. Sure, there is comfort in the familiar. But when the familiar is smothering you, what kind of life is it, really?
Shining a light on fear can transform not only the fear. It can transform you. There is nothing hiding in the darkness that you can’t handle. There is nothing hunkered down in the shadows that can devour you if you look at it. Even if it feels like it will. The only way to free ourselves of those shadowy, frightening thoughts, beliefs, ideas and worries is to hold them up to the power of the light that is in each one of us.
As for the voice in my head? Who knows where that came from. A guide? Intuition? A long forgotten brush with Ephesians 5:13? A random thought? A dream? The latent family insanity finally catching up to me?
It’s a mystery, but kind of a cool one, don’t you think?