As children, I think most people are afraid of the dark. Shadows become monsters, wind becomes howling animals, routine creaks and clicks become scary witches or alligators beneath your bed. But, honestly, I never grew out of being afraid of the dark.
Not in the same sense as when I was a kid – I no longer expect clowns or monsters (or as was often actually the case, my brother,) to jump out and scare me.
Now it’s more about the slowness of my eyes to adjust to the dark and the fear of no longer being able to see at all. The thought of actually living in the dark – in blindness. I can’t imagine never seeing the inviting beautiful faces of the people I love again. Or the buttery, intoxicating sunsets behind the mountains.
So yes, I’m very much afraid of the dark. Which I think is why I find so much comfort in light.
There’s something about the word itself and the idea of light that totally captivates me. Just search “light” in my personal photos and you’ll find 1,000+ pictures of sunrises and sunsets. Perhaps because both literally and metaphorically, light has this innate ability to provide comfort.
Light has all these sort of secret powers – warmth, safety, familiarity, openness, renewal.
When I read scripture, light is the word that always stands out to me above all others.
Light, to me, is equivalent to love.
I pray a lot about being a light to others. Which to me, means spreading love to others. To help them find their way out of whatever darkness they feel encompassed by.
How can you spread light? Follow through on the promises you make to people. Show up when a friend is in need – and be able to recognize that need in the first place. Sometimes it’s hard for people to tell you they need help, or your company, or prayers, or advice. Try your hardest to show up for those people. Send a note to someone you haven’t seen in a while. Or a gift out of the blue. Even a text message or email to tell someone you love them or that you’re thinking of them.
On a broader scale? Volunteer. There are thousands of organizations that need your help sorting, delivering, entering data, cleaning up, showing up, building, writing, organizing, etc. Whatever skills you have to offer are needed somewhere, I promise.
Donate. Sponsor a child or elderly person. Give to a cause you feel strongly about. Provide gift cards or clothing to a family who is fostering. Tithe in your church. Buy lunch for someone who is struggling. Give school supplies to a teacher. Whatever funds or goods you have to give, someone could benefit.
There are a million and one ways to spread light (love) to others. And a million and one reasons to do so. Believe the best in people. Assume that whatever light you shine will spread to others who need to find their way out of the darkness.
Anywhere you look, someone is hurting, struggling and trudging through the darkness. Imagine if every day, we all found one opportunity to spread some light.
“I will make you a light to the nations, so that all the world may be saved.” Isaiah 49:6