I have to admit something right from the start â€“ I didnâ€™t want to write this blog. God and I have been talking about it for about twenty-five minutes or so and He wonâ€™t let me focus on anything else. I love that about Him, but sometimes He really gets in the way of me doing what I want to do. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish this morning! So here is my dilemma, or why I didnâ€™t want to write. Honestly, I am immersed in an immense amount of brokenness right now. So not only has God clearly pointed something out in my life that isnâ€™t right, He asked me to share it with whomever reads this blog (maybe that is only four people, but still!). I read the following this morning:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.â€ â€“ Matthew 5:14-16
Of course, the first thing thought that comes to my revolutionary heart is â€“ â€œThis is the problem with the organized church. We have fled our communities and built info structures to keep hurting and lost people away. We need to engage our communities with the love & tenderness of Jesus.â€
When my self-righteous attitude quieted down, The Holy Spirit gently said to me, â€œYou are not being a true light.â€ Of course my initial defensive reaction would not allow this kind of prodding. I began to question God. â€œWhy? Why am I not being a true light? I have given my life to communicating the wonderful news of an abundant life through knowing God in an intimate, interactive way. Iâ€™ll go wherever and do whatever to share this message. How am I not being a true light? I have never cowered away from my community or culture. I will speak the name of Jesus to anyone that is ready to listen. Etc., Etc. Etc.â€ Iâ€™ll spare you the rest of my plea to the God of the universe.
Once I quieted down, my attention was drawn to a little phrase in those verses â€“ â€œâ€¦ let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.â€ Wow! I was floored. I thought being a light was about evangelistic events, programs, discipleship, etc. Being a light, in my mind, was simply carrying out the basic religious duties of the church in a public arena. But Jesus defines â€œbeing a lightâ€ differently. Being a light is simply performing good deeds. It is picking up the trash you see on the street, or tipping the waitress a hair above 20%, or assisting your neighbors in carrying their groceries into the house, or holding the door open so someone can enter ahead of you.
Being a light may involve something much bigger though. There are examples in time of people that were lights in dark places. It cost them their time, energy, and money. These light-bearers organize walks to benefit cancer, MS, or autism. They see horrific acts of humanity and give their lives to changing the situation (guys like those that began Invisible Children). Think about a woman like Mother Theresa that gave her life to ending poverty. Yeah, think about Mother Theresa. If there was any one person in the world over the past 100 years that â€œdid good deedsâ€ and â€œmen praised the Father in heavenâ€ because of what she did, it was Mother Theresa. Pushing a political agenda, or fighting heresy, or clarifying gray issues of the church did not dominate her time. She just gave her life to putting food in a hungry manâ€™s belly or clothing an adolescent naked girl. Another human being may never match her impact on this world, doing the â€œgood deedsâ€ Jesus spoke of. She was a true light on a hill.
So these are my thoughts. I have a feeling though just because I wrote this entry doesnâ€™t mean I can drop the issue and move on. I need to think about how I can truly be a light. Any ideas? Suggestions? How have you seen others be a Jesus kind of light?