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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

Shine On!

“We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.” Ernest Hemingway

Conversely, that is also how the darkness gets in. A crack so small that a mouse could get in, can allow dark or light in – the choice really, is ours.

This particular time in the world we have a lot of darkness surrounding us. We have had a long season of black clouds hanging over everything we do. Don’t do this, don’t do that, you MUST do this…. All leading to confusion, discouragement and sometimes utter despair.

The picture above of this worn out road prompted me to ponder about light, dark and how people survive in utter darkness. The picture is of a well travelled “underground railroad” path from the 1800’s that smuggled slaves from the United States to Mexico. A road where slaves sought freedom from dark tyranny. A road that signified freedom, hope in some humanity and almost certain death if you got caught.

That worn out, forgotten road was a beacon of light to many, a sliver of hope, a choice to fight for.

We were put on earth to be overcomers, not wimps, not doormats, but victors, not victims. We all have had some circumstances that have put us into a victim position, but we are never to stay there, we are to rise up. It is when we get back up, perhaps wounded, perhaps bleeding, perhaps on wobbly legs, but we get back up, and that my friends is a power move. We get back up and just like Rocky in any of the trillions of Rocky saga movies, we stand to fight another round and the light shines forth.

It is when we are down that the enemy gloats, he thinks he has won and is taking his bows but when he turns around and sees us up, he discovers he is mistaken.

“Unbelievable,” he thinks, “they want more,” and he starts in to teach us another lesson. The darkness always tries to close in, it tries to cover up the light and smother us in a blanket of black. The blackness disorientates us, since we need light to know which way is up, which way is front and where the door or window is. We lay on the floor processing if we have the strength to get back up, we can choose to stay in the dark or we can fight, we can find the strength to cut through the darkness and let the light get in. For it only takes a tiny match, a little flicker, to shed light onto a whole dark room. It only takes a sliver of light to dispel darkness, so you can begin to see.

A lot of the world thinks that a day begins in the morning, but in the Bible, (actually in the middle eastern culture), they consider the sunset of the day to be the start of the new day. While a lot of the world is going from day to night, Gods time goes from night to day. God moves from dark to light. Morning always follows the dark, light always dispels the blackness, the light appears in the sunrise and dispels the darkness, it slices right through it to kiss the ground with light. The Sabbath is always sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, that is the 24 hour period of a day. I hope you caught that light always wins, it has the final say.

“Weeping may come for a night but joy comes in the morning…” Psalm 30:5, a famous scripture beholding the belief that darkness will be followed by light.

Hope is the belief that light follows darkness. If we could not believe that things will get better, that the night will eventually end, we would be stuck in despair and that nothing will change, nothing will get better. But follow the people who were in the blackest of places, the slaves on the slave ships for months, stolen and beaten, only to find that their lives had radically changed when they, if they, landed. They were not even their own anymore. Blackness, evil, broken: but the light got in…The songs, the music, their solid conviction of God, their faith was high even when they could not see in front of them. The light got into the cracks of their brokenness and it shone.

The concentration camps were hell holes on earth, blacker than black, where you watched family and friends die, murdered, others you never heard from again. If you read the stories of those who actually survived the camps, there was only one thing that kept them going, hope. Hope was the light that sliced in the darkness, the flicker that helped them see.

I could go on and on about dark places, you see there have been many, millions of people snuffed out, tortured, experimented on and it is still happening today. There have been more deaths, murders, in the 20th century than in any other period of time and it continues. Blackness wants to take over.

Perhaps today you are feeling dark, hopeless but let me tell you today more than ever, you, me and you, need to let the light shine through the cracks of our brokenness, slivers of light coming forth, to be and to give others that much needed beacon of hope. It could be your little act of shining that makes a difference in someone else’s dark world today. Shine On!

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