A revolutionary concept, I know…..
But it is true. Light shines. Once lit, light shines. And shining light lifts.
Isn’t it funny how that happens? I am not sure how the physics works—I cannot definitively explain the relationship between light and lifting—but I know that it works. Light is a force; it lifts hearts, lightens loads, and spreads love.
Lit by the Light the World Challenge to honor one’s parents, I took my mom shopping for warm winter clothes….something she could have, but never would have, done for herself. Her heavy sweater lifted my heart.
“Point out a virtue in someone they don’t see in themselves” was another challenge. Lance saw a list in my hand and feared the worst; “What have I done wrong now?” The list’s words—loyal, loving, laughter, load lightening—ended up brightening his day…and mine. I am so grateful for a husband who is loyal to me, who lovingly tells me I am wonderful AND beautiful, who makes me laugh, and whose willingness to listen lightens my load.
Prayers lighten loads also. On the day we prayed as a family for Bash—a nine month old child whose fused cranial growth plates necessitated brain surgery—he was released from the hospital and returned, miraculously, to his adoring family. Our prayers certainly did not cause the miracle but they helped us feel a part of it.
“Feeling part of it” is one of the greatest benefits of Church Women United. Yesterday I attended their Advent Silver Tea Christmas Celebration with Grace, her friend Abbie, and my friend Cyndi. It is so seriously wonderful to sit with women of other faiths and share sisterhood. Women really are meant to be sisters; when we get together we share recipes, we tell stories of children and grandchildren, we relate tales of heart and head aches…. and good feelings splash all over the place.
Splashing good feelings happen in many places. I got splashed on when I read my friend Tyson Grover’s Facebook post. “We changed up the advent calendar this year. Instead of getting little goodies for themselves, the kids have to go out and do good deeds for others every day of December. So far we have added coins to all the prize machines in reams, dropped random gifts on neighbor's door steps, hiked trails and picked up garbage, left snack money with a note in Redbox movies, and more. We have had such a good time but the best thing was when Silas came home yesterday and told us all the good deeds he did for his friends at school all on his own. I am so proud of these boys.”
Light spreads love. Silas’ light was lit at home, he spread that light at his school and his father loved it. (My guess is that he and his classmates loved it also.) Lance loved listening to my list and I loved seeing Mom in her new sweater. Love was “splashing all over the place” at the Church Women United meeting and Bash’s tender reunion with his family—I’m told he cupped his little hands on the face of his siblings and loved on them each individually—was as love-filled as moments on this Earth get. Light and love intertwine.
AH HA!!! That is it! That's the answer! That explains how light lifts!! It is the love in light that lifts. Light is a lifting force because it comes from The Source. “I am the light of the world” Christ tells us (John 8:12) and John tells us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Christ is the source of both light and love. They are together in Him. And as we come together with Him, they flow through us. Light and love move through us making us instruments in His hands to bless the lives of God’s children. But it does not stop there. As His light and love flow through us, they alter us. Just as rivers modify the valleys through which they flow, His love and light transform us as they flow through us. They wash away selfishness, cleanse contempt, pound out pride, create pools of compassion, and grace us with gratitude, leaving in their wake a glowing, joyful residue that forever changes who we are.
May the force (and The Source) be with you.
Light the world!