As the light bounces off the walls, floors, and ceilings, I find my mind wandering a bit. Here I am, in 2012 with light washing over surfaces of the entire room. Yet outside of this room, and probably even in this room at times, people are wondering why there is so much colorful light everywhere.
Across town in another church, people are worshiping in a different room with light bouncing off the walls, floors, and ceilings. Shades of the rainbow playfully move across every surface and the people in the room. Outside of this room people wonder why so much money was spent on something that just makes color light.
In either example I could be in a church with moving lights and no windows, or magnificent stained glass windows filtering sunlight in a room with limited artificial lighting.
In both rooms people find a reason to complain about the cost of the light. “The stage lighting is too expensive. I bet each light costs several thousand dollars!” And in the other room, a similar complaint: “Stained glass windows are too expensive. I bet each window cost thousands of dollars!”
What both people fail to see is that neither the stage lighting or the stained glass windows are the problem. The problem is in the perception of each. The cost of the lights or the windows is trivial. The money is spent. Move on.
We fail to see the artistry required for both. We fail to recognize that the stained glass windows and the moving lights above the stage are not the center of the experience. They are there to enhance the experience.
Light evokes emotion. Bright lights stimulate. Dim lights calm. Fast lights energize. Slow lights cause us to slow down.
Allow the light in the room to simply be that: light. Allow the light to be art, and the art to be seen and experienced, not judged. It doesn’t matter if the light in the room is coming from windows, moving lights, or candles, it’s all part of the same purpose.
We spend too much time finding fault with where the light is coming from in church that we often fail to realize it is just another dimension of our worship.
Photos used under Creative Commons. Source (left): Flickr user arichards63 - smile if you missed me. Source (right): Flickr user Today is a good day.