This Little Light of Mine

yvonne porcella (2)A reading from the Gospel of Matthew

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Earlier this week the song, This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna let it Shine popped into my head.

During the seventies summers groups of young adults traveling on a brightly painted retired school bus, the name of JESUS emblazoned in big letters on the side, would visit our neighborhood sharing the Word of God with anyone who would listen. Each day they would have something fun for the kids in the neighborhood to do, and a Bible lesson. I remember the songs much more than the lessons.

As members of the faithful we are, in some active way, to let our light shine, lighting the path for others to God. Lighting this little light, and tending the wick is a love response to the Grace and Mercy extended to us by God. I’ve discovered something that is at once a bad habit, and a way of observing. In one sense this is really good, in another not so much.

23732664_10214928114824804_822030237_oWhen I’m in a new situation I stand back and observe people to get the feel of what’s going on, where I belong in the grand scheme of things, and what I need to be doing. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, however to anyone else looking, and observing it may look like I’m not doing anything, or actively participating in what’s going on. As I get a handle on what’s going on the level of participation becomes more active and noticeable. There is tendency to pull back, and hide in other situations as well…when life gets tough, or certain relationships get strained to a point I pull back, way back in part because letting my own light shine has been so very tough, it often feels like I take the candle snuffer and extinguish my own candle because someone else’s is burning brighter, or seems to need to burn brighter.

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine

The light was hidden under that bushel basket, and temporarily extinguished. It wasn’t pretty when it happened. I could see it coming, and there seemed to be nothing I could do to stop it.

Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

sewbatik kings puzzle seam ripperAs human beings we often hear that “self-praise stinks”. And it can, if there’s nothing to back it up. However, letting our light shine draws others to what we’re doing, and in some respect to draw them to Jesus, or at the very least experience the love of God through the gift of our presence.

When our light stops shining, is hidden under that bushel basket, not only do we lose the ability to see, people will miss Jesus in oh so many ways. We miss Jesus.

This little light of mine

And now, as I reflect, and try to grow from this light extinguishing experience, there is a letting go, a tidying up, a trimming of the wick, letting the light shine brightly.

Hide it under a basket, NO!
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

This would be, as a quilt, one of those quilts that would find it’s way to either the quilt guild table for someone else to enjoy, or to the trash bin. Yep. There it is I said it.

So, now to move on to something else, and Shine on.

God bless!

Teri

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