Last spring my youngest daughter brought home a beautiful science project on light. After listening to her rendition of all that she and her classmates had learned that week, I was so excited about her project that she let me keep it and I taped it to the window above our kitchen sink.
The project entailed dividing a piece of construction paper into three descending, horizontal rectangular portions, each illustrating a different physical property related to light.
The top portion of the construction paper was cut out and replaced with plastic wrap.
The middle section was cut out and replaced with wax paper.
The bottom section was cut out and replaced with tin foil.
The physical properties related to light that these sections illustrate are (top to bottom) as follows:
1) transparency 2) translucency 3) opacity
Transparency is the physical property of allowing light to pass fully through an object. For example, the top opening of the project which holds plastic wrap allows transmission of light from one side to the other.
Translucency is the physical property of allowing light to pass diffusely through an object. For example, the middle opening of the project which holds wax paper is partially obstructed so that light can transmit somewhat although we cannot see clearly through to the details of the other side.
Opacity or having an opaque nature, is the physical property of impenetrability or allowing no measure of light to pass through. For example, the bottom portion of the project holding foil completely blocks all light from passing through. It does not transmit light at all but reflects or scatters it.
The three physical properties (transparency, translucency and opacity) which transmit or block light are directly analogous to the souls of mankind. Each has a heart and a history which determine the property he has carried thus far.
In the transparent soul, light flows freely in and out to others, like the plastic wrap. These individuals most likely have passed through some form of brokenness or dark night of the soul forcing them to release the false self along with the opacity that accompanies it (See Dark Night of the Soul by Gerald May MD on Resources page). We have permission to see inside and can also see through to the other side because virtually nothing is hidden. These souls live in the light and are free.
In the translucent soul, some light flows in and some out, but with limitations, like the wax paper. These individuals most likely have passed through some hardships or are naturally intuitive and are seeking a deeper understanding of life and truth. We have limited permission to see inside and can see only blurred or distorted images without the ability to see through to the other side. These souls seek the light and are working toward freedom.
In the opaque soul, no light is allowed to enter, like the foil. These souls vow, although perhaps unknowingly, to keep their true selves hidden from others for fear of various consequences which would destabilize their fragile realities. We are forbidden to see inside since light is completely blocked from entering. These souls live in darkness.
As we make our way through life encountering cumulative traumas, we tend to become more and more opaque with the intent of protecting ourselves. However, even with good defensive intentions we slowly close our true selves off from others to live a slow soul death. That is, unless the Spirit of God is at work within us. When He is at work, and we choose to surrender to Him, He will never allow us to remain isolated or cut off from light and growth. Contrarily, He is always inviting us to join with others who are experiencing similar circumstances, hearts and histories.
Entering in to an ongoing communal growth and bonding process enables souls just like yours and mine to recognize our soul properties and slowly transform from opaque to translucent and/or from translucent to transparent. I can surely attest to transformation from opaque to translucent to transparent living, and it rocks! The more light we encounter, the more love and freedom we enjoy. The more love and freedom we enjoy, the more we can gladly share it with others.
Do you see any similarities between the properties of the science project and your soul?
Which property does your soul most resemble?
How would you describe your heart? Would you be comfortable sharing it with others?
How would you describe your history? Would you be comfortable sharing it with others?
Which property would you prefer your soul to resemble? Why?
Do you regularly encourage light to penetrate your soul? Why? Why not?
Can you think of other ways to allow even more light inside?
He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.
I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness
Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness.
1 John 1:5
And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way].
Joshua said, Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you and that He will surely drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites.