One of my most cherished childhood memories is riding in the family car at night. During the week Mom and Dad taught at a Bible college near our home in Minneapolis. But early Sunday morning we traveled to the small Minnesota town where Dad preached.
After the evening service we would head home under a black sky, spangled with stars. Our silver-grey Hudson Hornet severed the serenity of the rural countryside, a baritone monotone of twin-carbureted, straight-eight power. Mile after mile the sleek behemoth chased the illusive dual pools of light that pierced the inky darkness, and rumbled alone down the two-lane asphalt ribbon. Reflections of dashboard lights floated eerily on the inside surface of the car windows. More than one preacher has garnered a reputation for stretching the legs of every pony under the hood. And in this sense, as in many others, Dad excelled at his calling.
It was long before the age of seat belts—a time when parents thought nothing of letting their kids stand between the seats to get a better view. But on Sunday nights the three of us kids would sleep on our way home to Minneapolis, my sister on the back seat, my brother in front of her on a pillow-padded floor. The youngest and smallest, I would wedge myself into the spacious shelf beneath the Hudson’s rear window. I can still recall lying on my back, looking up at the starry sky until sleep would overtake me.
But on those nights when I lay awake as we approached the city, I remember the comfort that came from seeing the lights of home reflected in the clouds on the horizon ahead of us. Tired from a long day, the lights of home were a most welcome sight. The promise of security and rest that only home could provide.
Long before I could see the actual city lights, the reflected light told me all I needed to know. Our own feeble headlights were incapable of showing me where home was; they twisted and turned with every curve in the roadway. But the light in the sky gave me a sense of direction, a goal, and the assurance of my hope for the future.
Today, as I stare into stained glass window reflections in a guitar, and listen to songs of worship and praise, of hope and comfort, I appreciate God’s gift of reflections. How welcome is God’s glory reflected from the consecrated life of a follower of Christ. What hope and comfort come from the reflections of Christ in the testimonies, the praise and the music of His people. In the darkest night, when I’m weary from life’s long, winding road, even the reflection of His light on the horizon is enough to lead me safely home.
A New Year
5 months ago