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”)
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