One day while on a train, I paused and took in the splendor of the sun. The colors of the land seemed to come alive in the light, but the strength of the light itself was stunning. I thought to myself, How the sun rules the day! Then another thought interrupted— No, the sun is the day!
And I saw God in that moment.
I perceived him no longer as one who acts, as though he loves and gives what is good. Instead, I beheld in that bath of light his perfection: that he does not love as much as he is love itself; that he does not give the good, for he is goodness itself. I understood that God wills himself to me.
It is a hard concept to humans for whom virtue must be cultivated and so earned. But God is holy, utterly different, inherently perfect, and unfathomable. What more can be said of him than he himself is the ultimate reward?
The word of God so aptly came to mind: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). A natural moment had become a spiritual illustration and alter to worship.
Later I read Albert Barnes’ comments on the verse, which are simple and profound:
John here says that ‘God is light’—not the light, or a light, but light itself; that is, he is himself all light, and is the source and fountain of light in all worlds. He is perfectly pure, without any admixture of sin. He has all knowledge, with no admixture of ignorance on any subject. He is infinitely happy, with nothing to make him miserable. He is infinitely true, never stating or countenancing error; he is blessed in all his ways, never knowing the darkness of disappointments and adversity.