Northern Lights (by Brian Cannon)

What do you imagine the experience of seeing the Northern Lights is like?

When I hopped on the bus and headed out into the frozenness that is the hinterlands of Reykjavik I had an idea of what I might see. I stepped off the bus and almost biffed it on the ice. Phoenicians have no idea how to walk on ice.
I shuffled and slid across the ice to a place where I was alone. I started to watch the skies.

Sure enough, over the ridge of the mountains, a green glow started to appear. It morphed, and moved – it grew in intensity. It was a bit elusive, almost fragile, like if it were a candle I could blow it out. Essentially, though, it was what I expected.

Then there was a change.

The Northern Lights started to come through the sky to me. What was a pretty picture that would elegantly fill out a frame became something more. 2-D became 3-D and it was unexpected, heart-quickening and, it seems funny to say it, almost dangerous. An experience became an encounter. I was by myself, but I felt a part of everything. I was alone and together.

I think that most of us have an idea of how we will experience love in our lives. We see others’ relationships, we talk with God, we have relationships of our own. We get comfortable with the idea we’ve formed about what an experience with love is… then we have an encounter.

The world had an encounter with God’s love through Jesus Christ – an encounter that we are called to have as his disciples. This is a radical love that added an unforeseen and unexpected dimension of depth. The love of the Risen Jesus Christ takes directions which catch us vulnerable and off guard. To love like him, our love cannot be a passive experience. It cannot be distant or waiting. It cannot be politically expedient or put on hold until we get our lives together.

This is the time to love dangerously like God loves us.

– Brian Cannon