As I waited in the service area for an oil change, a young mom with her two small sons caught my attention. She was well-prepared for their time of waiting, and she offered them small toys, books, patient answers, and a loving lap on which to sit. The boys were enjoying themselves so much that when their car was ready they didn’t want to leave- even with the promise of lunch at their favorite restaurant! This young family helped me see “waiting time” in a different light…
It was late autumn and I was lamenting the fact that our pin oak trees were clinging to their leaves for far too long. The street sweepers would soon be making one last clean-up for the season! I wanted the leaves down and gone, so that our lawn would look nice for the winter. But one day I was chatting with my neighbor, Kathy, and she reverently said, “I just love these pin oak trees. They add such a lovely brown color to the winter whites and grays.” Kathy helped me see the beauty of those stubborn trees, and now I appreciate pin oaks in a different light…
My daughter Jennie was caring for a precious and adorable five year old, Cara, while her parents played a softball game on a hot summer day. Little Cara needed to use the portable toilet set up at the edge of the field. Jennie waited outside, very concerned. The booth was terribly hot and foul-smelling from the summer heat, and Jennie could imagine how uncomfortable she could be! But from inside the booth, Cara’s soft little voice was heard: “It’s so warm and cozy in here!” Dear Cara helped us see even this situation in a different light!
One of the best gifts of our faith is that Jesus has shown us how to view life in a different light: the light of God’s love. When God’s love illuminates our lives, we are enabled to see the beauty and the good in all circumstances. In times of trial, we can feel God’s strength. In times of grief, we can know God’s comfort. In times of despair, we can trust God’s help. In times of happiness, we can share God’s pleasure. In times of abundance, we can appreciate God’s generosity.
Journeying through life with the “different light” of God’s love, we are able to see the deeper meanings, the significant lessons, the inner beauties, and the hidden jewels within. Living in this different light of faith is a precious gift in which we find our peace, hope, joy and love.
Perhaps that not only is our best gift, but also our best witness for others… living as people of the Light. Seeing life as an incredible experience of God’s pure love. Pointing out the beauty or noticing the gifts that may be hidden under “normal” light conditions. Understanding how our lives- with all of the trials, joys, challenges and beauty that we experience- have significance and deeper meaning. Revealing the inner good and beauty to those who cannot see it in themselves. Embracing everything with a heart of gratitude.
Brightening the lives of others as people who walk in the light of God’s love.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined.