This morning, a friend of mine called and set me on an errand of sorts. She is redecorating her home on the mainland, and had wanted my opinions on some things. My mission, should I choose to accept it, was to go (cell phone in hand) to the online site of the company she was ordering through, and walk through the offerings with her, as her sounding board of sorts. I thought this sounded kind of fun, so I agreed. We set up a time and coordinated. I logged on, and was set to surf the net, looking for the perfect fit for her and her new home.
By the end of the conversation she was practically begging to get off of the phone—as I, of course, had wandered from the actual task of shopping, into a different world of thought/pondering tangent (as I am prone to do)—getting sidetracked by psychology and semantics as I journeyed further into the land of lights and fixtures and shades, dimmers and timers. For my credit, I started off at every site fully focused on the practical task of finding the right colors, the right “feel,” the perfect piece(s) for my friend’s declared specifications. Yet, I couldn’t help thinking how much this related to life…this whole lighting thing.
As I clicked through the pictures of the track lighting, I marveled at how simply the strategic location of bright lights could instantly highlight a desired point of focus in a room, yet without being jarring or having it feel institutional. This, I was told, was a most ideal setting for displaying a specific work of art, or other desired points of interest, without being too ostentatious. Then there were the halogen lamps…I’d always liked these. They were amazingly able to give off an immense amount of light, but because they focused the rays upward rather than downward, it never felt like “too much” or glaring…perhaps because the majority of the light and heat were not pointed directly at the individual seeking illumination.
Then there were the lights that had shades on them. Some coverings were hideous in color…bright and brash—and *gasp * tacky to the tee. There were tassels, beads, designs, and (I mean it) even….feathered shades. Some shades were almost see- through in their thinness and translucent nature—others were so opaque that the light was almost completely swallowed up in the bowels of their blocking hues.
There were timers on the really modern lights that they were selling. You could apparently program them to shine brightly for a certain amount of time before having them either dim gradually, or shut off completely at a designated hour. The dimmers could be tuned to fade according to the needs and tastes of each owner---running the gamut from bright and brilliant—boldly filling the room— to the opposite extreme of leaving a somber and mellow ambience; barely lit and neutral toned.
I listened patiently as my friend shared her * lengthy * thoughts on each of the options. We weighed together the pros and cons connected with the purchase of every item. As the conversation progressed, I realized * pragmatist that I often am * that she had no idea (or concern, apparently) for the different costs of these items. Rather, our entire conversation and deliberations had completely revolved around how the lights/ lighting made her feel. It was as if money was of no importance in comparison to the need for a “perfect fit” (as she called it). The “perfect fit” for what she wanted to welcome her home everyday…the “perfect fit” for what she needed to feel at peace and rest sitting beneath, and surrounding her—day in and day out. I understood this “perfect fit” of which she spoke.
I often pray that I will go throughout my day and be a reflection of “light and joy” to people with whom I come into contact. This day has made me revisit that prayer over and over in my head. Yes, I very much do still want this….but now I want to be more specific in that prayer. What kind of light…not the glaring kind….that in-your-face-give-you-a-migraine-flourescent light (no, thank you). Instead, I want to be a sweet, soothing light, yet not so dim that it lulls people to sleep, or that they cannot find their way around to get anything accomplished—rather I want to be the light that is bright enough to allow them to see their world clearly--beautifully (painting their surroundings in the best likeness possible—highlighting the happy colors, the neutral soothing tones, and the shades that will give them hope—and set them at ease—surround them in peace).
I am still a work in progress….but now I have a more specific goal in mind, and prayer in heart. As I go about my day(s)...what kind of light do I want to be? What kind of light am I right now?