It has been a BUSY weekend, running on next to no sleep and running between shoots and filming for the church it seems like the whole weekend was a bust. Last night we filmed the Christmas Eve service (yes, it was as weird as it sounds). I kept having to remind myself to not get excited for tomorrow, Christmas is still a few weeks away… but seeing the familiar candlelight glowing in the stain-glass window was a comforting thing, something, along with a lot of other things that has been taken for granted all these years. There is magic in the glow of a candle, so much meaning wrapped up in a tiny dancing flame.
Sharing the light of Christ in a time like a global pandemic seems both obvious in it’s rightness but also very difficult. What does that look like on daily basis? I walk down the street and people’s faces are hidden, eyes in phones or on the sidewalk. We watch the news and it’s one depressing story after another, every network seems bent on pushing fear and anxiety at us before we’ve even had a full cup of coffee. It is not an easy time to be ‘light’. There is a divide in how people respond to this pandemic that leaves people afraid to discuss things openly, for fear that if you have a differing opinion you will be ostracized. How then do we face this fear, this hate, this anxiety and panic with love, with the light of Christ.
(This post was started on Monday but life got busy and I got pulled away from writing)
I was reminded yesterday that being the light can be as simple as being polite to the person calling to ask you about cleaning your ducts, or holding your anger in check when you get cut off on the drive home from work. It doesn’t have to be huge, it’s the little things, the small little things that we do and say as we move through out our week, interacting with people. Are we bringing light?
My guys walk to school everyday, they pass a few crossing guards along the way and everyday they say thank you to them. It’s a simple thing but this year I had one of them pull me aside when I was making the return trip and he told me how much he appreciated it. He said ‘I have been doing this for a year, and every day your boys are the only people to say thank you to me.” The other guard bought them both Christmas hats and today when I was walking Kaleb to school I thanked him for the hats and he smiled and said “they are really great kids, they bring a smile to my face every morning and every afternoon” I say this not to brag about my boys, I don’t remember teaching them to say thank you but, I take no personal credit for this but they do it, and it is a simple little thing that brings a smile, that brings light onto the street for these two guards each day. It’s the little things.
As I stared into the light of the candles the other night, as I have been preparing for the Christmas eve service this year it’s the main message I have been hearing. Be the light. This year, more than any other, the world needs the light of Christ to shine more brightly than any other year. The homeless man on the corner, the one who is ignored would have been the one that Jesus sat with while he was pan handling, he would have reached out and shown him love, the new immigrant, the person who is suffering mental illness, the person who feels so desperately alone, the one who is yelling at you for something that you feel is wrong, they are the ones who need the smiles, the thank you’s, they are the ones who need to feel the warmth of the candle light. It’s not the grand gestures, it’s the little things we do everyday that will change the world, change our world and the people in it.