A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
“Sometimes your light goes out but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.” Albert Schweitzer
(Danny Minton writes “Thursday Thoughts” for the church leadership at Southern Hills Church of Christ. He shares one of those weekly writings with readers of Spirit of Abilene.)
By Danny Minton
I’ll have to admit that there are days when I’m just tired and worn out, not from manual labor but from dealing with people, problems, and stressful situations. We all have those types of days. It may be something at work, home or church that just becomes such a burden that we just don’t feel like going on. Maybe we just want to resign or quit what we are doing, dreaming that life has got to be better on the outside. Maybe we go through bouts of not feeling appreciated for what we do.
In my 50 years of ministry, my light has been to the point of going out several times. There have been stressful situations and confrontations that have moved me to the edge of “throwing in the towel,” and moving on to something else. However, I have found that whenever I get into these dark times that God always adds a little breeze in my life to kindle the flame again.
As we look around us, there are scores of people who need a little breeze to keep their inner light kindled. They are people who faithfully serve day after day without any reward. They often go unappreciated for their hours of work.
I recently finished a book entitled, “Life in a Jar.” It’s a true story brought to life by three teenage girls who attended high school in a small school of 300 students in Kansas. In researching a school project, they came across one short internet piece on a woman named Irena Sendler.
She had been a forgotten figure from WWII, even in her home country of Poland. From a short local play about Irena, these young girls brought to light the story of a woman who was a light to people in the Warsaw Ghetto of Poland. She was responsible for saving over 2,500 children from the death camps.
Irena’s story not only was a light to those she helped but became a light to the young girls who brought her story to light. She became their hero and as a result of the girl’s project become a hero and light to the country of Poland.
Are we light to those around us who are losing theirs? It’s important for each of us to take every opportunity to keep the light of those who work so hard burning brightly. Also, we need to be mindful and thankful for those who rekindle our light, keeping us going when it starts getting dark.
Make it a point each week to be a light to those you encounter on your daily journey. Be that gentle breeze that lifts people up and brightens their day. Never leave those you meet in a dark room.
The three teenage girls also became a light to Irena, being able to visit her in her later years in Poland. In the end, the girls and Irena kindled a light for each other and their light touched the lives of thousands. It all started with just being a light for one small child in 1939.
The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ