Searching For Light

As I was reading the other day, I happened upon some statistics about the detailed
design of the human eye. The writer was expounding upon the eye’s unprecedented
sensitivity, precision, complexity, and beauty. Perhaps the article caught my attention
because of the enthusiasm of the book’s author, or maybe it was the proliferation of
statistics that verified the masterpiece of the Creator, or possibly I am just an information
geek. Whatever the reason that caused my focus to be arrested, I have continued to
contemplate the spiritual implications of what I read.
 
The eye functions because light passes through the cornea, into the iris, onto the
lens, and then shines on the retina, which is a thin lining in the back of the eye. The
retina is comprised of photoreceptor cells that are light sensitive, converting the image
into electrical signals that can in turn be interpreted by the brain. On the retina are 120
million rods for low-light vision and 7 million cones for color and fine details. Each eye
has one million nerve fibers that electrically connect the photoreceptors in the retina to
the visual cortex of the brain.
 
In addition to all of this almost unfathomable intricacy, we also discover that the
eye can function in a broad spectrum of luminosity. The dimmest conditions allowing
sight vary from the brightest conditions by a factor of ten billion. Who has not
experienced the eyes adjusting from the bright sunlight upon entering the darkened
theater room? When the amount of ambient light suddenly decreases, the eye begins a
process of adaptation. Under very low light conditions, it can take the eye sixty minutes
to fully accommodate.
 
I found it fascinating that the eye requires such a long period of time to adjust
from bright light to darkness. As I considered this phenomenon, I thought upon the
process that occurs when people walk away from the light of truth into the darkness of
deception, when the radiance of honesty gives way to the obscurity of duplicity, or when
the beacon of love is ignored and replaced by the shadow of hatred. The journey away
from light requires a period of time to adjust. No one goes immediately from good to
bad. The ‘eye of the soul’ has to progressively adjust to the next level of darkness. The
heart must become accustomed to the dimming surroundings. The will accommodates to
the shadows of altered reality. A year, or two, or more passes; and the conscience adjusts
to the darkened state. An unharnessed passion, two unbridled obsessions, or multiple
unchecked pleasures and the soul has regulated to embrace the night.
 
Yet even in the darkest surroundings, the spiritual eye searches out a ray of light.
In the physical realm, adaptation to darkness is a slow process; but adaptation from
darkened surrounding to bright light conditions requires only minutes. The retina is so
sensitive that as little as 1 to 2 photons of light can trigger a visual signal in each
photoelectric cell. On a dark night, the natural eye can see a small candle flame from
thirty miles away. Perhaps it only takes a faint glow of truth to shine light into the eye of
the heart, thus illuminating a pathway out of darkness back to the light. It just may be
that God has constructed both the physical eye and the spiritual eye in such a way that
they can quickly adapt once light is allowed entrance.
 
Light can be found in many places, but nothing can compare to that which shines
from the pages of scripture and the words of Jesus.

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~Dr. Patti Amsden