Reflections – Beautiful Things Seen with Light
Good Deeds;Â reflections ofÂ faithÂ seen as the inner light that shines from each of us are much like the hues of the rainbow that glow after the storm. Light reflections are beautiful things that fascinate me, these are theÂ reflections seen sometimes in odd places and only at certain angles, reflections that would be missed unlessÂ purposely looking for them.
My love of reflections came about many years ago beginning andÂ remaining to be the source of inspiration in my photography. When at first IÂ began really seeing them I loved the abstraction seen with the shapes and forms thatÂ hold aÂ hidden mystery of what is actually seen. As time passed it was the color that I really began to notice and want so badly to capture in its truest hues. I didn’t want just a slight of color I wanted the real thing, the glowing pure hues, and allÂ their values that could only be grasped with the play of light between the object and the angle of the lens. My family would bemoan and complain if we came to a water source of quiet water because I would stop and could be enthralled for unaccounted periods of time with just my camera and I. For it was there I could find in that calm and still the pure colors seen with a slight abstraction caught somewhere between the real and the unreal.
The calm water reveals the pure colors and shapes but in a way that makes you think carefully about what you are really seeing. I still love reflections and have trained myself over the years to quickly spot them and the areas where the best and most interesting onesÂ show themselves. TheÂ greatest ones are all about the angle and light but over the years I have learned that the reflections by themselves although wonderful because ofÂ their abstraction isÂ seemingly emptyÂ if the object being reflected isn’t at least somewhat seen in the photograph also. The better photographs are the ones that give you a glimpse of this great thing being reflected which providesÂ a grounding or orientation of sorts.Â This Â allowsÂ the reflectionsÂ themselvesÂ to revealÂ themselves with meaningÂ in their full glory with allÂ the beautiful hues and values of colors. SometimesÂ the shape and form are clearly in your view and other times are slightly abstracted all of which allures your mind into thinking just what beautiful thing is it that is seen and how to become part of it.
Isn’t that just the way our faith should be seen? Beautiful reflections seen by others inÂ their full glory and color sometimes very clearly and maybe other times in just enough abstraction to attract others to the spirit of God that lies within us? Our focus verse this week is James 2:17;
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (NLT)
Reflections of Good Deeds = Commitment
For busy people like me this verse is a relief! We are not expected to sit around with our faith in our head or hand butÂ instructed get out and do something with it. Now that being said let me please make clear that good deeds and busyness do not earn our salvation. It does not move us up God’s chain of command, secure us a place in heaven, or pay any debt we owe as there is nothing we can do that will ever pay our debt to God or give us a better place. Jesus paid our debt and there is no amount of work, deeds or anything else we could do to repay that debt. This gift of love given to us by God will never be outdone or equal in value by anything we could do. Our deeds simply glorify Him that has placed us here for His purpose. Our good deeds show our commitment to our gift of faith. They go together with our good deeds being reflections ofÂ our faith.
This reminds me of a song written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, recorded by Reprise Records owned by Warner Brothers and made famous by Frank Sinatra entitled; Love and Marriage. The song lets you know that they go together like a horse and carriage. You can’t have one without the other. You just can’t separate them and to attempt this separation is really just an illusion so there can only be one conclusion. This is how close connections and reflections seen between faith and good deeds are.
What is important is faith expressing itself in love. (NLT)
This has been the week of the year that love has been the topic of the week with the celebration by many of Valentine’s Day. Many legends exist behind the martyr of St. Valentine whatever the real story is behind the legends one thing remains true he was performing good deeds or good works for the glory of God. HeÂ committed himselfÂ to the Christian faith and his acts were reflections of this faith. Our good deeds and actions to others are the way to show our love or commitment andÂ the reflections of our faith help us keep watch over the strength of our faith. Ultimately though these good deeds of love or commitment together along with our faith give glory to God and that is our purpose.
Reflections Bring Glory to God
Before Jesus died he prayed and in part of this prayer he said in John 17:4;
I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. (NLT)
I read this scripture verse this week in a Bible study, Restless, that I am doing by Jennie Allen with W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. This verse just jumped off the page when I read it as I felt it was so in line with faith and deeds. Jennie Allen wrote below the scripture verse in the study guide that she wanted to be able to say those words also. Below her printed words in the book I wrote in my book, ”Me too”. Oh how I ache to fulfill my purpose on earth to do God’s will. I am sure there are many of us, who want to hear very badly upon reaching eternity the words of Matthew 25:21;
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (KJV)
What sweet and wonderful words to hear from our creator, Well Done. What we do with our lives and the gifts presented to us really does matter as it gives reflections to others of what we know and believe. We are here to glorify God andÂ our placementÂ here isÂ forÂ that purpose. We know that there is evil and it is trying to conquer everything in its path. Satan thinks he can win but we know the end of the story; weÂ have read the back of the book. God will win! God will have victory over evil all in His time. There is a reason we live and go through every circumstance placed in front of us. WeÂ must stay strong in our faith, our belief, for everything we live for as Satan would like nothing better than for us to join forces with him. You see we have to stay busy helping other people for if we only have faith we become weak as we have no commitment and this gives Satan power over us. Joyce Meyer has a quote from her book,Â Battlefield of the Mind that has become a favorite of mine, ”Empty place is a space”. Empty places give Satan a place to fill. We must fill that space with good deeds making them our faith’s reflections. Paul tells us this in Romans 12:21;
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. (NLT)
We must allow our faith to be verified with the actions of good deeds.Â Reflections seen between the two, faith and good deeds, are a stronger weapon to fight evil. They are not always equal, sometimes abstraction is seen, but the pure colors of light should always shine through and be clearly seen. It is our purpose; it is our glory to God.
May we all plan our week and days blessing others making sure God’s many reflectionsÂ are fully seenÂ in all we do as we are in a war between good and evil, my dear friends, we are all needed and we want to leave no man, woman, or child behind because we know the end of the story.
Love in Christ,