This morning while sitting outside with coffee, I noticed two birds flying toward me and then over my head. One was dark, resembling a raven. The other was as white as a dove. I stopped, mesmerized in disbelief. They flew side by side like friends on a journey. In swift thought, my brain asked, “Was that a white dove? No, surely not.” I gazed up again steadily, and just before they passed over my house, the birds’ wings fan out above me. They are as white as snow and as black as soot. I am awe-struck. My mind then began calculating events concerning an Ark and Noah, Elijah, and the ravens that fed him. Soon I am meditating on a Lamb and a Ruach Wind that appeared and descended like a dove on our Messiah–A dove whose white wings flapped mightily over the waters when HaShem said, “Let there be LIGHT” (Genesis 1:3). Out of thick darkness, light was born.
“In your days (Job), have you commanded the morning or assigned the dawn its place, that it might spread to the ends of the earth and shake the wicked out of it?” (Job 38:12-13, BSB).
Sometimes light stands in front of darkness. Sometimes a dove and a blackbird take flight side by side. There were two men on a cross next to Messiah–one cried out for light, and one remained in darkness.
And one of the evil-doers who were hanged was speaking evil of Him, saying, “If You are the Messiah, save Yourself and us.” But the other, responding, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear Elohim, since you are under the same judgment?”
–Luke 23:39-40, BSB
Light stands before darkness every day in multiple situations, weighing much less than my description above. We are candles. We are to shine. “But if your eye is evil, all your body shall be darkened. If, then, the light that is within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23, ISR). Evil eyes. What a concept. How we look at others through our eye gate can be with light or with darkness. Yeshua said, “No one lights a lamp and covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he sets it on a stand, so those who enter can see the light” (Luke 8:16). A Lamb, the Light of the World, stood in the midst of darkness and did not open His Mouth. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth” (Isaiah 53:7, BSB).
Picture our words as blankets of light. Every soul on this planet was created with a divine flame inside them, even those who walk with evil eyes. Have you ever heard a conversation or watched a scene play out before your eyes that was so grievous, your whole insides were weeping, but on the outside, you could not flinch or appear at all like the conversation or surroundings you found yourself in bothered you? Perhaps it was a holy day on a sacred calendar that no one close to you realized was sacred. Maybe it was a death and burial of a soul created in the image of light that no one could find words to bring that were reminiscent of describing the person’s days under the sun. The people wore black, but no one spoke of the light that once shined out of the eyes of the person who now has left this place for another.
We must bring the light on our tongues.
Maybe you weep inside over a child you failed to teach properly– harmed by divorce, abuse, lack of attention, and instruction who now stands before you broken?
We must wrap them in light and hold them in love.
Maybe your grief is a date on a calendar. “You may have six months, or a year to live.” The doctors pronounce death over you, but you stand strong for your family. Inside, you are a grieving person trying to dance with your son, daughter, or spouse until your future is revealed. You drink in smiles and words, grasping them in your heart while holding on to faith and life in Messiah. A dark report does not put out your flame.
We must stand with our wicks trimmed and our lamps full of oil.
Possibly your grief erupts over a dark world you see filled with unrest, disease, idols, death, and lusts of the flesh boiling over in a pot of filth. But what if you saw the opposite too? The smile of a child in innocence. A butterfly landing beside you to remind you of transformation. The buds on the trees. Flowers popping up in colorful hues, red birds singing and wild violets poking their heads up through a field, a sun bursting forth to welcome the day as you thank Abba for coffee, tea, a breath.
Sometimes the light and darkness mingle, and this union causes a taint. Leading up to Passover, one year, I emptied half a bottle of 100% pure maple syrup with half a bottle of cheap pancake syrup. I was busy removing hametz. The Holy One said, “Bonnie you just mixed the holy with the profane.” I was horrified, but the Father was showing me more profound things.
“Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness? Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says יהוה the Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:14, 17-18, ISR).
What is unclean right now during the feasts of unleavened bread is bread. Why? Because the Holy One said do not eat bread for seven days. Eat matzah for seven days. These are the Father’s appointed feasts. If our earthly fathers told us not to eat bread as a child, we would do good to obey them. How much more the One who created LIGHT?
“‘These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast'” (Leviticus 23:4-6, BSB).
A Sacrifice is something we give up for something else. Our Messiah gave up His life for us. We give up yeast for unleavened bread.
“For when I brought your fathers out of the land of Egypt, I did not merely command them about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but this is what I commanded them: Obey Me, and I will be your God, and you will be My people. You must walk in all the ways I have commanded you, so that it may go well with you” (Jeremiah 7:22-23, BSB).
Adonai’s point was not to command them in the ways of offerings and sacrifices but to obey His Voice. Shema. Sometimes this looks strange to others.
A sacrifice is about us and not an animal. Many times we are in situations that cause us to make a sacrifice. We sacrifice a party, wedding, or event to rest in His Sabbath, or we sacrifice bread for a striped, scorched piece of matzah. In this sacrificial place of obedience, we notice that we are a peculiar people set apart to HaShem. The One who sent the darkness, palpable darkness, would also send an angel of death.
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that darkness may spread over the land of Egypt—a palpable darkness.”
So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and total darkness covered all the land of Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else, and for three days, no one left his place. Yet all the Israelites had light in their dwellings” (Exodus 10:21-23, BSB).
We have all found ourselves at work, a social setting, a party, a family gathering, or an event where darkness showed up. Darkness cloaked and draped in thick glee. Darkness wearing light like an angel. Darkness boasting in neon colors. Black draped words that fly and soar with edges– sharp points that stab and pierce. Words swathed in prideful mocking like Pharaohs or one of the thieves on the cross. Strange chatter where teeth bite and we chew people into pieces in one sentence and then try to mend them on sewing machines like a garment we’ve ripped in two like an offering or a dove with its head wrung off. We see the darkness in those around us as familiar and remember our own dwellings and journeys of learning the difference between the mundane and the holy. We recognize that we, too, have darkness that we battle. We realize we have far to go when compared to a Lamb that did not open its mouth.
When we are obedient and sacrifice our flesh on the altar, we are a sweet smelling fragrance unto Him. “And this day will be a memorial for you, and you are to celebrate it as a feast to the LORD, as a permanent statute for the generations to come. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you are to remove the leaven from your houses. Whoever eats anything leavened from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel” (Exodus 12:14-15, BSB).
Darkness shows up during seasons and appointed times. But darkness also reveals light. Are we learning about light in the darkness? Are we bathing and cleansing our eyeballs in light? Are we able to not open our mouth in the midst of darkness, mocking and scorn, like a lamb–a lamb we ate in haste that then resided in our bellies. Did you know Adonai made darkness His covering?
“And He bowed the heavens and came down, And thick darkness was under His feet. And He rode upon a keruḇ, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His covering; Around Him His booth, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed, hail and coals of fire.” (Psalm 18:9-12, ISR).
Kisha Gallagher author at Grace in Torah has an anointed blog on darkness and light that I feel everyone would do well to read. I had a disturbing dream months ago depicting darkness and light. Her blog post titled What the Darkness Reveals brought healing and revelation to my soul. You can find it HERE. Before I wrap up this post on light and darkness, I want to direct you back to the two birds. Unbeknownst to me, I learned that there could be albino blackbirds from my husband. A blackbird with a pigment deficiency becomes white.
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:19, BSB).
We can often look white as a dove but be a blackbird with a skin issue—this is one topic I have written about often and more for my own good. It is the same issue that made Miriam white as snow. Lashon Hara/the evil tongue–leprosy. Words are more powerful than we know.
“All the evils that men cause to each other because of certain desires, or opinions, or religious principles, are rooted in ignorance. [All hatred would come to an end] when the earth was flooded with the knowledge of God.” – Maimonides
The earth flooded with knowledge of a Holy God. A fearful Ruler and Creator of all life sent a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. What if we carried that olive in our mouth?
During the Omer count, a count that we are commanded to do by Elohim, we count up to the 49th/50th day of Pentecost or Shavuot in Hebrew. The Holy Spirit fell in the book of Acts as tongues of fire. Oh, how our tongues need to be baptized in fire. Oh, how we need sweet water and not bitter. Even when we think we are speaking life, correction, and encouragement, it is possible to speak death due to our own ignorance, pride, pain, or fears.
Sometimes light shines so brightly it hurts eyes and causes people to place their hands over their face–their fingers in their ears, or run away. Sometimes truth is so loud it is like wind that knocks us down. Sometimes we see through the lens of grief. We open our arms and hug people we see as blind, deaf, having tongues that need coals from the altar. We hold them close because we love them so, and we bathe them in all the light we have to give in that moment knowing we too deal with our own evil tongues and puffed up yeast. Perhaps the darkness senses our light and is changed in some way spiritually. Maybe we receive light from those we see bathed in yeasty darkness. Perchance we notice what is in our own hearts?
Photo Rohan Makhecha
May we see the dove this Shavuot/ Pentecost. May we be a blackbird with skin clothed in light pigments that turn us whiter–brighter. May our leprosy be cleansed as Moses cried out concerning his sister, “Heal Her!, we picture the Body of Yeshua and cry out too. May we wrap ourselves in chesed and loving-kindness that bubbles forth without our left hand knowing what our right hand is doing. May we eat unleavened bread with purpose and not rote. May we count up to the comforter, the Ruach Wind that hovers over our heads and purifies our hearts and burns the dross off our tongues which no man can tame. May we hold up two loaves of bread and shout for joy at the promise of redemption, the comforter, and the Messiah.
“My little children, I write this to you, so that you do not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Intercessor with the Father, יהושע Messiah, a righteous One.
And He Himself is an atoning offering for our sins, and not for ours only but also for all the world.
And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands.
The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked” (I John 2:1-6, ISR).