In a world darkened mercilessly with tragedy rolling over tragedy…. it’s not what we imagine, when our lives shout light loudest. That struck me unexpectedly this morning as I was pondering His Word: You are chosen by name. Crowned royal. Filled holy, and belonging to God that your life becomes a living declaration of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9, paraphrased… a lot).
Jesus knew I needed a reminder of that this week and crossed my path with a Sister I’d never met — she knew me by a ring I wear. It was handmade in a remote, impoverished village of the Dominican Republic. There is an immediate kinship when so many miles away we recognize each other this way. We know we have each stepped on the dung-laden “soccer” field at Chi Chi, playing with our mission students whose tin shack homes are nestled at stunningly verdant foothills. There the love and laughter of our play rang out unconstrained joy, the praises of His grace rich with light and life, defying the world’s definition of poverty. And when back in America we find our Brother or Sister by the stamp of a ring, knowing the storms so recently destructive, our hearts rekindled in prayer and perspective, refreshed in treasuring what our King treasures most, His praise echoes loud.
In the common routine of our days, it’s no less with the daily opportunity during a morning commute, exchanging smiles and mute Jesus filled conversations with a deaf man, homeless yet exuding joy at the stoplight. We extend blessing to each other in those brief minutes and praise rises with a deafening roar that only heaven hears. Two lives touching with the smallest kindness, darkness is swallowed in wondrous brilliance, and His glory reverberates over the silence.
These small moments may not have any impact in this ever-widening heartache of our world. Yet I trust the everyday littlest things shout Him aloud in whatever moment we intersect compassion with another. It is His desire this be our whole joy, our hope, as it was for Him whose compassion fed multitudes. The One who took the time to listen and know the shattered heart while sitting by a well. Who lovingly embraced what the world cast out. The One stopping mid-stride to bless the hand that touched His hem. The One knowing from where He came so easily taking a towel and bowl, taking the lowest place before the meal began. The One for the joy set before Him, chose forgiveness rather than offense in the midst of agonizing pain. With each offering darkness transformed. So…
In the simplest of moments.
When we take time for another.
When we break the stride of our agenda for another.
When we bend, defer, and set aside for another.
When we forgive and choose blessing for another.
Then our lives in Jesus shout loudest with His unveiled glory no matter how black the dark.
May we, wherever and whenever we are, knowing Whose we are, intentionally be His living declaration of Light deafening the darkness.