Words, when they come to life are an amazing thing. Whether their effect on us is through something we’ve read or by word of mouth, when words come to life they are amazing. When they linger with you for days, tumbling around in your heart and mind like the delicate cycle on your dryer, in constant motion gently nudging you to take a closer look, you must. I have had a string of words shared by a complete stranger floating and twisting around as though windblown for some time. They come close to being still and landing as though the wind died down, yet before I can grasp their full meaning, they again take flight.
These are the words: God has given each of us a light. It is up to us to shine that light on others. If you only use your light as a spotlight, you are not using your light to its full potential. If the sun only shone on a small number of crops, all the other crops even those closest to the light would wither and die because they were not touched by the light. As uncomfortable as it may make you, as difficult as it may be, you must shine your light on others.
This week’s events have been disheartening in so many ways. I don’t often watch the news because it depresses me to see so much evil being reported. After the bombing at the Boston Marathon, I’ve been watching the news quite a bit. Just as I was about to retreat back into my bubble, having had enough of the horrific news reports, I heard about the explosions in West, Texas, a town just north of Waco where my son was born seven years ago.
Again, I become glued to the news and what do I see upon further inspection? I see those words come to life. I see spotlights in the midst of tragedy so great that not too long ago would have been something seen on a movie screen or written in a book you can’t put down…something we could imagine because to believe it could truly affect us in the real world was impossible. The longer I watch the news the more those spotlights expand, shining a light so great it reaches out and blankets all of those affected, breathing hope into those left behind to face our reality.
I wasn’t planning on writing about these tragedies, believing there was nothing I could contribute that hadn’t already been shared, believing I could not bring words to life that would offer comfort, believing there was nothing I could say to shed new light on the subject. Maybe there isn’t, but not sharing the words of this complete stranger would be the equivalent of turning my own spotlight off.