The change in the speed of light causes a change in the direction of the light. And that causes… well, beauty. Soul-seizing, earth-dazzling beauty.
Technically, it’s called refraction, but I prefer “Bent Light.” Refraction sounds so… stuffy. And Bent Light is anything but stuffy. It’s atmospheric poetry and brushstrokes in pastels and crayola colors. It’s sunrise and sunset and rainbow. It’s the Northern and the Southern lights. It’s all of God’s Grandeur on display, to borrow from poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
And I, too, have recently changed speeds and directions. And I have found that my regular shiny self has definitely been bent. In fact, I am one giant cluster of Bent With A Capital B.
I’m bent at the shoulders and knees… I’m praying. A lot.
You see, I can’t seem to do it all. I can’t seem to stay caught up. Not anywhere close to caught up. My to do list stretches off into the horizon and mocks me if I dare try to cross a single thing off it. So I’m left with bent knees and distant goals.
Which leaves me frustrated. (A lot.) And impatient. (A lot.) And absolutely exhausted. (All. The. Lots.)
But then tonight, when I sat down to write about all my doubts, all my dismay, I got distracted. I got distracted from my hard-angles and angsts by the notifications from the Instagram pic I took of a sunrise this week.
A jell-o sky sunrise.
And that jell-o sky sunrise got me to thinking… thinking about the beauty of light on its knees. If light didn’t take a knee, we would never have color. We would never have promise.
God gave mankind His promise by way of the rainbow. The promise that storms would pass and the world would be profitable again. Not stale. Not flat. Not weary. (To combine some flood narrative with some Hamlet.) The world was given depth and beauty through light on bended knee.
And let me tell you… these past few weeks, I’ve been up close and personal with some stale and flat. I’ve felt the unprofitable. And OH, how wooly (“That’s weary, Nobody gets wooly. Women get weary” — to combine some Hamlet and some Bull Durham.) But anyway…
Lord, how I’ve struggled. But in those struggles, I’ve seen the most deliciously decadent sunrises — sensory feasts for my near-starving soul. I’ve seen them nearly every morning.
I’ve seen plum sorbet daybreaks and bright jell-o skies. I’ve seen peach parfait cloud stacks and strawberry-syrup haze.
And I’m reminded that while my life might be hard right now… and my shoulders and knees may be bent way more than usual… that is a far cry from a bad thing.
I needed to be humbled. I needed to shake things up, to be shaken, to be bent.
Because, as Gerard Manley Hopkins so eloquently wrote, “the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”
Yes, bent light makes metaphysical masterpieces. And bent knees make metaphysical masterpieces, too.
I can’t wait to see what beautiful things are created from my soul on bended knee.