Be the light.
This is the phrase I often use to inspire my kids each morning, before I send them off to school.
“Go. Be the light.“
It’s a simple concept really, and yet all-encompassing.
Be the light…
to the lonely, to the ignorant, to the oft forgotten.
Be the light….
to the lost, to the angry, to the broken.
Be the light…
to the hungry, to the proud, to the hopeless.
Be the light that shines in the darkness.
Be the light that illuminates the way.
Be the light in the midst of chaos.
Be the light!
My 8 yr old remembered these words one day, while on her way to school.
As she hopped up onto the bus, she noticed the unfamiliar face of a girl, roughly her age, sitting alone. Her head was bent towards the floor; eyes fixated on the laces of her shoes. She appeared to be nervous and alone.
My daughter thought of the words I had spoken to her just minutes before, “be the light.”
She imagined what the new girl must feel like, not knowing anyone, or having anyone to talk to. So she worked up enough courage to take a seat next to her. When the girl looked up from her lap, my daughter simply smiled and said, “I like your shoes.”
The girl immediately smiled back, and the rest of the way to school the two talked, and laughed, and enjoyed getting to know one another.
One single act of kindness resulted in a year-long friendship.
A simple smile can go a long way!
There is an exercise that I occasionally like to practice with my kids while we are out and about, running errands. The purpose of this exercise is to help teach them the importance of paying attention to their surroundings, and the Holy Spirit inside of them.
It goes like this-
Before entering the doors of a local place of business, I challenge each of my children to find someone in the building that they can be a blessing to.
But here’s the catch- it can’t be just anybody. I don’t want them to merely pick a random person, and speak some random words.
Instead, I encourage them to be alert. Pay attention. Listen as the still, small voice of the Lord causes one person in particular to stand out to them.
And then… go and bless.
This exercise has brought such joy to my heart, as I’ve had the incredible opportunity to watch my children step outside of their comfort zones, be aware of the Holy Spirit inside of them, and selflessly become a blessing to another individual.
It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. I know from experience.
I’ve been cornered in the grocery store on a few occasions, by an unfamiliar bystander impressed with my well-mannered children, sent to encourage me on a job well done. (They must have caught us on a good day) 😉
What a breath of fresh air these angels-in-disguise are!
Believe me- mama’s of littles NEED to know that we are doing a good job with our offspring, because some days are just too much, and we are ready to throw in the ever-lovin towel! Can I get an AMEN!
It’s good practice to challenge ourselves to move out of our comfort zones, in order to make ourselves a blessing to someone else.
There’s a whole wide world that needs you!
This is not simply some happy-happy, joy-joy, feel-good-theology.
This is the word of God.
Mathew 5:16 instructs us
“let your light shine before men, in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.”
This is my heart!
I don’t merely want to make some sweet, old lady happy because I helped load groceries into her car. On the contrary, I want her to encounter Christ in me, so that she can experience true, lasting joy!
I dont simply want to BE a blessing. Ultimately, I want my acts of kindness to point the way to the One who IS the blessing!
I can recall a particular encounter with a local cashier, that helped to drive this point home.
As I stood in the back of a long line of tired, grumpy people waiting to purchase their groceries on this particularly busy day, I watched in horror as the cashier practically threw the grocery items into the bags, and swiftly sent customers on their way, without so much as acknowledging their presence with even a simple “hello.”
She had a hard disposition, and was clearly miserable.
I shook my head, and watched in disbelief as she continued to treat her customers like yesterday’s garbage. I was preparing myself to make a snide remark about her behavior, as I approached the front of the line, but suddenly I was reminded of my own words, be the light.
My muscles began to relax, and my heart- flooded with warm fuzzies- started to feel deeply for this woman.
Finally, it was my turn.
I stood in front of her, waiting…..hoping that she would acknowledge me.
I quietly prayed, “Lord, give me the words to say that will brighten this woman’s day.”
Without another thought, I spoke. “You have the most beautiful eyes,” I said, somewhat sheepishly.
It is hard to explain in entirety, what transpired next.
Her pace slowed. Her rigid movement suddenly softened. And when she finally looked up at me, I could see the glistening of tears that filled her eyes.
Nearly choking on her words, she whispered, “that’s what my late husband always use to say. Today is his birthday.”
She was no longer the only one with tears in her eyes.
We exchanged smiles, and she thanked me for the kind words.
And then off I went.
We don’t need to shout out Jesus loves you from a megaphone, in order to shine the light of Christ into the lives of others.
In fact, please DON’T do that!
Sometimes- MOST TIMES- all it takes is a kind word, a thoughtful act, or a simple smile, to make someone’s day.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand and it gives light to everyone in the house.” -Mathew 5:14-15
During this holiday season, I can think of no better way to spread the love of Jesus, than by simply committing to being the light to those around you.
As we decorate our trees and our houses with the soft glow of twinkling lights, let us be reminded of the brightest shining Light- the Light of the world– who has come so that we may have light, and in turn share that light with a desperate people.
“Do small things with great love.”- Mother Theresa
Your turn! How can YOU be the light to someone today?
If you’re anything like me, you thrive on of a good challenge! Let this be my challenge to you:
Wherever life leads you this day, I challenge you to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, step out of your comfort zone, and be the light to another individual.
Be sure to return and record your results in the comment section below, so we can celebrate together!
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a big thing. A small act of kindness goes a long way!
Until next time,
You guessed it…be the light!