Reader, do you know the definition of the word 'chiaroscuro'?
If you look in your dictionary, you will find that it means the arrangement of light and dark, light and darkness together. " - from The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate Dicamillo
Last summer, we made multiple trips to Illinois to visit my parents as my dad fought, and eventually lost, his battle with esophageal cancer. We spent hours in their living room, where a large print of Rembrandt's "The Return of the Prodigal Son" hangs over their mantle - it was my dad's favorite painting from the Hermitage in Russia, probably his favorite painting, period. It's a lovely example of chiaroscuro, where the repentant son and his ecstatic father are bathed in the bright light of God's grace and abundant love, while the older brother stands aside at right in the darkness of cold reproach and unforgiveness.
In the midst of whatever challenges we face today, this week, next month or in the year ahead, we can choose to do the same. I need to choose wisely in the days ahead, and to rely more fully on God's wisdom instead of my own selfish will and emotions. To step into His light rather than stay in my own comfortable, sometimes sullen darkness. To intentional seek out and reflect His light, rather than curse the darkness. Praying that God grants each of you all the love, mercy and grace that you need to face the day.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. - Hebrews 4:16