When the alarm wakens us in the early morning hours, we reach for a lamp switch. The sudden entrance of light causes us to blink—and maybe yawn. When the closing credits of a movie roll in a darkened theater, we push the bar of the EXIT door to the parking lot. From darkness to sunshine, we have to cover our eyes and reach for sunglasses. But when the holy light finds Saul on the road to Damascus, more than his eyes react. God’s light doesn’t stop at the eyes. “A light from heaven flashed around him,” overpowering his body.
Behind the light is a force that knocks an adult man off his feet. Years of anger, homicidal thoughts, hatred, jealousy, and pride begin to drop off his shoulders. This light desires all five senses. He sees it. It touches him. Then it speaks. He hears. His desire for the taste and smell of food weakens to the point of fasting. While everyone thinks that Saul has gone blind, God is actually opening his eyes from the inside out.
We often speak of Saul’s Damascus road experience as a spontaneous conversion. In the course of one chapter, Christ transforms him from a murderer of Christians to a worshiper of Christ. We fail to note how long his conversion took. “For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank” (Acts 9:9). The light is powerful, but sometimes we take days to surrender to its loving power. Saul’s journey was not one of instant change. His change took time, patience, and fear of the unknown. Where are you on your Damascus road? How has God’s light overtaken your life?
Jesus of Damascus road, transform me today. Amen.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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