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Lillian Daniel: A Finger Can Block Out the Sun

September 10, 2014

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." - John 1:5 

The 19th century Hasidic rabbi Levi of Berditchev once pointed out that a finger held up to the eye could block the sun. Think about that image. 

Obviously one small finger cannot block out the light of the sun for the whole world. But if you hold your own finger up at just the right angle, you can block out the sun from your field of vision. 

And presumably, you could do that to someone else. It would be much harder, but if you held up your finger in just the right spot in front of another person, you could block the sun from your neighbor's vision too. 

In both cases, the mighty and massive sun will look as though a tiny human finger has overpowered it. Even though we know better, we might be fooled for a minute by the illusion. 

God must get weary watching us do this sort of thing. We'll claim we can't see the divine light, but it's our finger that's in the way, some tiny thing that we have decided is huge. Or we'll block another person's vision with our finger, and they will lose hope. God must get tired of seeing us lose perspective like this. 

It may be why this verse is so important. The next time it seems to get so dark that you can't feel the light, consider this. The light is massive and everywhere. You just need to get that tiny finger out of the way. 

Dear God, make me a person who shares your light, not a person who blocks it. Keep my sun-blocking hands to myself. Amen.


From UCC's StillSpeaking Devotionals. Visit

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