Can We Be Light in this Darkness?

We hang a Moravian Star in our front bay window yearlong, and of course we are especially mindful of keeping it lit up during this season of darkness, social distancing, and isolation.

Into such dark times as we are experiencing Mike and I desperately long to “shine like stars” into our world, somehow even whilst being almost totally invisible.

I love this paraphrase of Christ’s words delivered during the Sermon on the Mount: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5.14-16 MSG)

I’m thinking the kind of light the world needs long about now with disease, unemployment, scarcity, financial woes, separations, and an avalanche of anxiety looks a lot like plain old kindness. Considering the needs of others before our own; being extra patient with those hardworking grocery clerks and mail carriers and service folk and especially those on the front lines of this medical battle. Maintaining a calm atmosphere in your place of quarantine – speaking gently to those in close quarters and throwing grace around like confetti.

The medical director of the hospital in “New Amsterdam” TV series goes about saying to everyone he encounters “How can I help?” Somehow, I think Jesus would be saying the same thing if he were in that grocery line (or testing line) today. And He would most definitely be prodding us to do the same.

In the sixteenth century, Teresa of Avila put it this way:  Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on this world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.

It is no accident that we are in the middle of this 21st century event, called to represent Christ on earth “for such a time as this.” May it be said that during the coronavirus pandemic, we were kind above all — bringing light into a dark world.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized my name Lucinda actually means “bringer of light.” Ever since then I have prayed that God would help me shine His light everywhere I go and to everyone I encounter. I admit I’m still a work in progress on this…

Perhaps Madeleine L’Engle says it best: “We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.”

We can do this, dear friends – be that “light so lovely” by living out the words of this Common Commission from my church:

  • Let us now go forth into the world in peace.
  • Being of good courage.
  • Holding fast to that which is good.
  • Rendering to no one evil for evil.
  • Strengthening the fainthearted.
  • Supporting the weak.
  • Helping the afflicted.
  • Honoring all persons.
  • Loving and serving the Lord.
  • And rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

under the mercy, Lucinda

©2020 Lucinda Secrest McDowell (adapted from “Soul Strong”)

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouragement at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com

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21 Comments

  1. Peggy Knight on April 15, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Lucinda, bringer of light, you do bring light with every post! Thank you.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 15, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      And Peggy, I am so grateful that you read them. Take care.

    • Kathy Morrisey on April 15, 2020 at 4:33 pm

      I am all about “Light.” I love lighthouses (used to live on Cape Cod and a friend of Mike and Maggie Rowe) and my home is filled with many of all sizes. Many ask about my collection and it is a joy to tell them. First I explain why there is a need in this world for lighthouses. Then, I go on to say they represent much more as Jesus Christ is the
      of the World and I am one of His lights. It is a great witnessing tool. We need to be even brighter lights in these days that are so difficult for many. So enjoy you posts!!

      • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 16, 2020 at 6:32 pm

        Thank you Kathy for reading my posts and collecting lighthouses which I also love. Praying all is well with you on the Cape. Blessings.

  2. Maureen Miller on April 15, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I see lovely light in you.
    Lord, let me also be a little bearer of light. And let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
    🌟

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 15, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      Hey Maureen, I’m singing “This little light of mine” with you right now from afar. And smiling. Take care.

  3. Tammy Sue on April 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    You’ve wonderfully woven the old with today and kept it simple!
    God-colors is one of my favorite verses (that version).
    Love seeing how God has named you and how true it is…how you shine and share your light.
    Tammy Sue

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 15, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Tammy Sue, I also love those “God colors” and send you hugs. Stay well.

  4. Judy Jennings on April 15, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Cindy you are a bright and shining light in this world and especially to me each and every day. You inspire me to shine a little brighter to those I encounter throughout my day.
    Blessings
    Judy

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 15, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you Judy, for being such a great encourager to me. Stay well.

  5. Angela Nichole on April 15, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Such an encouraging message for us all! Thank you for your words of wisdom, kindness, and Light. The words from Teresa of Avila reminds me of the passage from Luke where Jesus talks about the Kingdom being in the midst of us which is what my devotion was on this morning. Love seeing the Holy Spirit work through His messengers! Sending you a big hug 🤗

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 15, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you sweet Angela. I pray daily for your nursing at the hospital.

  6. Maggie Rowe on April 15, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Please post a picture of your Moravian star, would love to see it. And thank you for this wonderful collection of thoughts and quotations. Exactly what we all need right now.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 15, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Good idea! I will go out and take a photo tonight. It is from IKEA and Kathy Cooper gave it to me several years ago. Stay safe. Exciting days are ahead for you, dear bff.

  7. Maribeth Ditmars on April 15, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    As I was doing my walk/run this morning one of the songs I listened to was “Learning to be the Light” by New World Son. I always pray when I run, so I prayed to be a light today.

    A few years ago we lost our previous 21-year old in an accident. His favorite song was “City on a Hill”

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 16, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      Oh Maribeth, my deepest condolences to you in the loss of your young son. Both of those songs are so true as we seek to be Light to the World. May God wrap you in His arms of love and comfort today.

  8. Marilyn Dean on April 15, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Visuals always intensify the message. This Star has spoken and intensified your message in my heart and in the many who have read it today receiving Light.

    As a potter, I use clay, my potter’s wheel and potter’s hands. God, by His Spirit, intensifies His message every time in the hearts of those who hear it. The “Light is shared”. God Bless, Lucinda.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 16, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      So good to hear from you Marilyn and I send blessings your way as well. Keep throwing and creating!

  9. Sharon banta on April 16, 2020 at 12:03 am

    Thank you sooo much for encouraging us with your words and great reminders that christ in us is the light in the world. I would love to see your star also! Blessings to you as we have this quieter time to hear our heavenly father. Sharon

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 16, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      Sharon, good to hear from you and I will try to post a photo of my star. Took one last night. Blessings.

  10. Nancy Smith on April 21, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Oh Cindy, The quotes you used resonated so well with me. I’ve been focusing on myself even though doing all the “right” things for family and neighbors… God cares about the heart more than action. Being a nurse but retired – I poo pooed the early virus reports and others fears until I got real info from former co-workers. Not the reaction I should have taken at first. Nancy

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