let there be light

Don’t know about you, but we’ve had some crazy weather for our area this winter. Usually we’re lucky if we get snow. This year we got more than our share. OK, sure, not like a “Chicago winter,” but abnormally cold and snowy for us. Usually we have lots of cold, gray skies and enough rain to make people think it rains “all the time.” That’s good. Because when the sun comes out — like it finally is today, and the skies are blue — like they finally are today — there’s no place on the earth we’d rather be. And mostly we want to be outside — even with frost on the ground one week into Spring.

Our church has recently made a move from meeting in a movie theatre to meeting in a brand new commons space at our local high school. We gave up cup holders for windows. Lots of them. And our pastor has been talking about light…a lot.

He reminded us that the very first words God spoke were about light. He didn’t say “ta da!” or “shazam!” He simply said “let there be light.” And there was light. With that light came life…and purpose…and hope…and darkness has been shrinking from that Light ever since.

The ministries we serve work in places where there is so much darkness. Children who have had their parents fail them, the foster care system fail them, who have no hope. Families who find themselves facing life on the streets because of a lost job and inability to make rent. The elderly who have to choose between prescription drugs or buying groceries. Young teens who think they have a right to hurt others because of the terrible abuses they suffered when they were young children.

These ministries serve people who have hard lives most of us couldn’t imagine. They bring light into the lives of these people. They share love. They offer hope. They show a way out of the darkness.

On days like today, we feel blessed to get to live where we live with such a visible reminder of this light that God brought into the world, serving the ministries we serve who daily work to demonstrate God’s gift of light.

A few years ago, Switchfoot wrote a song called “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine.” If you’ve never heard it, it’s worth a listen.

It’s one of those songs that we really had to think about. But when you do…when you really think about it…you see that without light, no shadows are possible. We can reach the conclusion that in all darkness there exists the possibility of light. So don’t give up hope. The lost are not lost. They are just waiting to be found. The hopeless are just waiting for hope. The hurting just need someone to show them a way not to hurt anymore.

Tell us about your favorite ministry or charity and what they are doing to bring light into the shadows.

Hoots and Thomas

(photo credits: M&D Thomas)

Hoots and Thomas

Hoots and Thomas

4 thoughts on “let there be light”

  1. Two things come to my mind as I read your entry:
    1) God was so smart when he made man and woman because he gave us ways to express sunshine through our smiles and hands for greeting and wrapping our arms around someone that needs a hug.
    2) Also, some people just have this natural sunshine that surrounds them where ever they go.

    Why are these things important? Because they are the starting points to approaching someone that lives in darkness and doesn’t know how to get out. To be able to walk up to a homeless man or a mother in desperate need – to shake their hand or just smile can be a sign of hope and expectance. To give a hug to someone suffering from cancer in their hospital room and feeling hopeless that they will never get better. But YOU first have to choose to use those gifts to help someone else – or do you just walk on by and keep your sunshine to yourself. I do believe they want to be found. Life should be shared. No one should have to live life alone. God wanted us to be together to help one another.

    What will you do to share your sunshine – will you spend the time and talk with your elderly neighbor when you have 10 other things to do this weekend or will you serve at a homeless shelter on Saturday morning. I can tell that the best Saturday mornings are when I get up early and take the train into the city and visit our homeless shelter and serve those in need. God’s sunshine just glares all day long.

    This song (Sunshine Day) will bring back memories for many of you and make you smile – http://tinytwit.com/f4d720

  2. I love that you featured “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” in your blog. I think you’ll be surprised how much relevance the song has to your blog. When it first came out, I remember Switchfoot had a small featurette about how the song “was inspired by a fact-finding trip [they] took to South Africa in January 2005 to see for themselves the impact that poverty and disease has had on the region.”


    “You realize how poor we are as Americans. We might have a nice SUV, but nothing to show for our humanity.” -Jon Foreman (lead vocals for Switchfoot)

    Good blog, Steve. I might have to give it a shout out when I blog again. 🙂

  3. @Carol: Ah the Brady Bunch, I do remember. Thank you for that.

    I really appreciate your perspective. Thanks for the reminder of how we choose to use our gifts. I’m glad for how you choose to use your gifts.

    @Lem: I wouldn’t know Switchfoot if Hoots hadn’t broadened my horizons. I’m glad to know where the song came from. In my international travel, I’ve certainly felt the burden after seeing true poverty. And humbling to understand how little possessions have to do with satisfaction and contentment. Thanks for your comments. Always glad to have your thoughts.

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