Everyday along our life-journey, we come across a variety of people.
People with different beliefs. People from different cultures. People with different modes of dress, appearance, expressions.
When we cross paths with them, we immediately form all sorts of opinions both good and bad. Both right and wrong.
My question, though, is what do you think they see when they see you?
I fell in love with Madeleine L'Engle, not after reading her fantastical Wrinkle in Time or Swiftly Turning Planet books, but after I'd read Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.
This book helped open my eyes to not only why I wanted to be a writer, but why I loved being a Christian. So when I came across this quote above, it instantly went on my collection of post-it notes decorating my work desk. I have others. Maybe I'll share them later. Maybe I wont. We'll have to see.
Perhaps it's her reference to being a light, that caught my attention. How many times in Sunday School did we sing "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine..."
Question is, just how are we letting our lights shine?
Ever been outside at dusk, sitting beside the porch light with bugs and moths darting and hoovering around the bright orb? Light, for some reason, attracts. How about when you're cooped up inside on a beautiful summer day? Oh, but the glorious feeling when you first step out the door and the sun hits your face. Or try stumbling around a dark room at night trying to find your slippers to protect your feet against the chilled floor? Our hands automatically seek out the lamp on the nightstand, right?
Light attracts. But not harsh, glaring lights. No, we tend to cringe when someone shines a flashlight in our eyes. Or turns on the overhead lights to wake us up out of bed. Oh, so painful.
How are you using your light? Be careful. We are representatives of the Kingdom. How can we show what's so good and wonderful to us, if we are harsh and judgmental to others? Critical? Condesending?
There will come a time on your journey when the opportunity arises when you can help another person along their way. Don't feel put upon. Don't think you are required to change or fix that person. No, all that you simply need to do is be the light God created you to be. To understand how blessed you are by this chance to be an answer to someone's prayer.
Be ready to help the weary, lost traveler. At some time or another we've all been on the road to find our true purpose. If you've found yours, don't chastise those who are seeking to find theirs.
Who knows, maybe they've prayed for help. Maybe God has sent you to be that answer. Maybe He knew you could light the way for them while they are lost in their darkness.
You never know. You just don't.
When I created the character Alyra, I kept seeing this girl who could light up. This isn't new. Characters that can glow are found all throughout literature. Why? Well, I think it's that universal belief behind the alluring power of light. The Bible often tells us to be a light. Don't hide your flame, don't extinguish it. Yet, this world, and the enemy that rules it, wants to snuff out any lights he can. Then people are lost in the darkness.
Another universal truth: Darkness flees when there's light.
Thing is, like Alyra, we have to learn how to use our lights to help and not hinder others. However your light manifest itself, I encourage you to develop your gifting, talents, abilities to make this world a better place. There's so much hurt and pain. Let's not add to that, but instead, seek out ways to show there is a better way. Make it so appealing, people will be like the moths and insects around the porch light, clamoring to find a way to get close, to figure out what that marvelous light is all about.
Let's do that, shall we?