I am always looking for the Light on a person’s countenance. It’s not at all what I once thought it was. Someone can be genuinely smiling from ear to ear and have no light on their countenance. A countenance aglow is much more than just the reflection of happiness; it’s the reflection of the Light of Christ.
Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. 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.
John 8:12 AMP
Looking for the Light in Christians
In the years of my life leading up to salvation, I met many people who identified as Christian. Of those many, a handful were unforgettable because they made a lasting impression on me. It had as much to do with what they didn’t do as what they did. One man in particular stands out as a vessel of kindness that was simply not natural.
Kindness is not the same as being nice, though they’re often used synonymously. Kindness is deeper than etiquette or superficial behavior. Kindness doesn’t need words or actions. Like love, it moves directly out of our hearts. I was young when I met this man; his daughter was my best friend. He was quiet and smiled easily. He was a big bear of a man in my memory, but he radiated warmth and security. I can still see his face and hear his laugh. This was a man who loved more than he was loved, and I now know how impossible that is without the Lord. As a child, I saw clearer than I did for most of my adult life, and what I saw was the Light. This wonderful man had Light on his countenance.
Looking for the Light in Strangers
Regular old wickedness is so common that it doesn’t even stand out. When people leave impressions on us without saying a word, it’s usually because they’re either glowing or glowering. A bright Light or a soul-sucking darkness.
I used to think that a person in the Light would “light up a room.” I have not found this to be the case. All it takes to light up a room is charm or charisma, and those are attributes of the flesh, not the Spirit. My experience now is that a glowing countenance is accompanied by an indefinable peace, an otherworldly quality that defies description or definition.
The closest I’ve ever come to describing it is to note that a person with Light on their countenance is missing the aura of need that surrounds the rest of us. And it isn’t that they have no need, it’s that they aren’t seeking a human host to meet their need. As a result, it’s both peaceful and disconcerting to be around them. It’s peaceful because there’s no undercurrent of expectation grabbing at me, and disconcerting because I’m so used to that grabby expectation. You cannot fake the Lighted countenance or the accompanying peace because neither originates from humanity. It’s the mystery of Christ, up close and personal.
Looking for the Light When It’s Dark
I think about these beautiful people and I ask God to bless them. I was marked by them, by the Light they carried. I didn’t forget them, even in my most wretched days. Somehow they served as a reminder that there was Someone out there who wasn’t broken, who wasn’t a liar, who was so much more than I could possibly imagine. I was looking for the Light, though I didn’t know it, and they were Lighthouses in the dark.
For light is capable of “showing up” everything for what it really is. It is even possible (after all, it happened to you!) for light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also. Thus God speaks through the scriptures: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:13-14 PHILLIPS
And so He did. I don’t want to impede the move of the Light in my life. Every time I see a countenance full of Light, I’m reminded of who Jesus is and what He does with my yes to Him. He gives me Light! Everyone looking for the Light is really looking for Him, and I’d like to shine the way just as others did for me.