Penetrating the Darkness

Daily Post: Puncture


The image above is not part of the Rorschach test.  Hermann Rorschach was born November 8, 1884, in Zurich, Switzerland.  In 1921 he developed the famous test named for his work, which comprised of 10 inkblot images shown to patients. The patient would describe what he or she saw in the images presented.  After many years of testing hospital patients with the inkblot images, Rorschach compiled his findings in a book called Psychodiagnostik, presenting the test as an effective and successful tool in psychoanalysis.  Champions of his work say it can reveal hidden mental issues in patients who are otherwise difficult to diagnose, while critics dismiss the work entirely as out of date with current mental health therapy methodologies.

The black and white graphic above is not a test, although when I first saw it, there were those who tried to make it so.  I first saw this image in the early 1970’s.  It was introduced to me as a “test” of whether I was truly a follower of Jesus, or not.  My first reaction was to be offended, and determined the test absurd.  There are people I know personally who have stared at this image for hours and still not “seen” what is there.  I also know people who look one time and say… “oh, I see it!”  For those who “see” what at first seems hidden, they often describe the moment of discovery as not unlike their experience in salvation.

When Jesus found Philip, he said to Philip, “Follow Me.”  Shortly after that conversation, Philip found Nathanael and said, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  Nathanael, not buying into it, replied, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”  The simple response from Philip was, “Come and See.”  [John 1:43-46]

When in the course of human life a lesson is learned, a discovery made, a skill is exercised … once acquired the lesson/discovery/skill doesn’t need to be re-learned, just honed over time to be better each time it is used in the future.  This idea is captured in the phrase, “It’s just like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget.”  Which also tends to be true for those who have “seen” the image above.  Once you see it, you can’t ever “not see it” again.  It’s as if the image has shifted from a simple black and white graphic, into a mind-bending revelation of the truth hidden by a Rorschach-like picture.

It is also a symbol, or metaphor, for what happens when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, and Savior.  I’m of the group of people that believe my salvation is entirely the work of God, and not only did I not deserve it, but I could never have earned it or bought it for myself.  In this way, since it is God’s gift to me, and since His promise is to securely save me (even from my self-destructive life patterns), once I am saved, I am always, for all eternity, saved.

The resulting benefit of salvation for me is the Holy Spirit, Whom Jesus sends to me in His own name, and Who opens my mind to the understanding of the things God wants me to know and understand.  It’s the proverbial “light-bulb” coming on spiritually, which separates and penetrates the darkness surrounding my thoughts and actions before I met Jesus.  Looking out through the spiritual eyes of the Holy Spirit now, everything looks different, because it is different.  In my trusting Jesus to redeem me, He has delivered me from darkness.

Colossians 1:13-14
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Have you seen it yet … in the image above?  Once you see it, you can never again “unsee” it.

His name is Jesus.



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4 thoughts on “Penetrating the Darkness”

  1. Great metaphor! I never thought about it like this before. The “AHA!” moment of when the Gospel first pierces through your heart is one when you finally see with clarity. So thankful for that clarity!


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