A citronella candle we have on our porch wouldn't light. I almost tossed it, -except that I'm all for recycling, so I took a closer look at it. I saw that the wick was all bent out of shape and weighed down under too much wax. After I removed the extra wax around the center, the candle was flickering brightly again. It was back to its original purpose. Wow! I thought. This candle looks just like us sometimes...
Lately, we're feeling so weighed down under all that's going on around us that we could slowly lose our sparkle. We stop pursuing our purpose and what we were intended to do. We seem to lack motivation. We are worried about our circumstances. The challenges we face threaten to bend us out of shape. No wonder our light barely glimmers as it used to.
From a logical standpoint, we have a rational justification. It's called Covid-19. However, we don't really have a good excuse not to keep shining our light and helping each other through this challenge. Right now, it might just be the time we need each other the most! What we face, although traumatic, is not new to humankind. Our forefathers have gone through even worse things than this before, and most made it because they supported each other and didn't lose hope. They let their light shine.
I never cease to be inspired by ordinary people who do extraordinary things.
Like the Teachers and Professors who had to figure out a whole new way of delivering their classes to their students. On the other side of the screen were students who had to learn in uncharted waters. In some homes, the determined, who now had the time to complete their pending home improvements. The home cooks who were inspired to fix healthier meals. The courageous ones, who organized their closet and went on to tidy up the rest of their house. The innovators who decided to do something they'd never done before. Those who care found ways to help or fund recovery efforts.
It's a beautiful thing how each of us tried to shine our light in some are. It's also a precious feeling that we finally have the time to hang out with our family and friends! Even if it's through a screen or over the phone. The scales definitely shifted. Before the pandemic, we never had any time. Now, all we have is the time!
Every time we can call or text someone we haven't spoken to in a while, they feel remembered. When we cook a meal for the seniors who cannot leave their homes, they feel cared for. If we spend some extra time listening to our loved ones, they feel heard, validated, and loved. We can be kind to someone who's struggling and give them a little more grace. We can be more patient with the store clerk, who could possibly feel totally overwhelmed. We can be extra thankful for our medical staff who are working under extraordinary pressure right now. We can pray for those who've lost some of their hours, their benefits, or worse -their paycheck! We all have opportunities to be a light and help someone right where we are.
When Jesus said: "You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14) He didn't mean it as something we could some day become. Somehow he already saw it in us. Like it had already been coded into our DNA. So I believe we can still shine our light even during these quarantine times. It hardly needs to be stellar. Little acts of kindness always brighten someone's day. Even a flicker of light will give hope to somebody who's in the darkness of despair. Your encouraging words might lift someone's spirit today and provide them with the strength to carry on. Our light always shines brighter in the darkness.
We're all in this quarantine together. Probably one of the current events which leveled us all. So let your light shine brightly. There is an overall sense of hopelessness and despair. However, it brings others joy when we can show them the bright side. Positive thoughts illuminate the minds of others when we share them. Let's be thankful for our health, our loved ones, our daily provision, and anything we used to give for granted. Our light will make an impact on others -just like fireworks! Let your light shine. It's still in you. Just give it a purpose.
All my best to you and Happy Fourth!
Maria A. Mansfield, PRS
Author: "Life is Worth Getting Better" and "Honoring Your Recovery"