Haunted Mansion: Coming Out of the Shadows
Before boarding your “Doom Buggy”, Imagineers have done a great job in setting the scene at the Haunted Mansion. Starting from the creepy (but well-maintained) exterior, the pet cemetery, and the hillside headstones and crypt in what the Imagineers call “Scene 1” of the show, into the stretching room, and past “revealing” paintings in the hallway.
It’s here, at these portraits, that I’d like to stop today. Most guests walk right by them to get on the ride, and when the line backs up they may glance at the paintings, but most spend little time really looking at them. As lightning flashes outside, these seemingly-lovely portraits are illuminated by brief flashes.
As long as they are viewed only in the dim light of the corridor, the images in these paintings appear to be elegant, graceful, and beautiful. When the lighting flashes, though, the true images are revealed: ugly, decaying, and decrepit. When the lightning vanishes, the portraits return to the shadows—and their illusion of beauty. But we have seen the truth.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:19-21)
From a distance and in the shadows we can fool ourselves that we “look” good. But in the light of Christ we are revealed for what we truly are. Our deeds are exposed. Our motives are exposed. Our hearts are exposed. Perhaps to the world, perhaps just to God and ourselves. The audience doesn’t matter. The fact is, we are laid bare. The light of Truth and Love shines in our lives and you see yourself for who you really are.
Then you have a choice: stay in the light and being made clean or return to the shadows. It’s easier to return to the shadows and pretend that what you saw was just an illusion, just you at your worst moments with all kinds of reasons why it’s not how you really are, that you’re better than that. And you tell yourself the same thing the next time it happens, and the next, and the next.
There’s no growth required to stay in darkness. But no real growth is possible in darkness, either. Especially if you would name yourself a follower of Christ, you must not remain in the shadows. As painful as it may be at times, as frightening, as difficult, come into the light of Christ’s love, forgiveness, and healing. Don’t be afraid.
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)
Question: That’s His promise to you. Now, are you willing to step into the light, or will you go back to the shadows? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.