Ever notice how you can be in a lit room and when you turn the lights off, it suddenly seems really, so pitch black? But then, after a few minutes, your eyes begin to adjust and it doesn't seem so dark anymore. Whatever lit spaces are around that room slowly begin to creep into view. Whether through the blinds on your windows, or a light under your door, or a night light in a nearby space. The light slowly creeps in, your eyes begin to adjust, and it doesn't seem so dark anymore. You know what I mean?!
I was putting Carsyn to bed tonight and this scenario came into play, and in the process I had an 'aha moment' that I want to share to hopefully encourage you with ...
Carsyn and I were in her room getting dressed and doing our normal nighttime things. When she got in bed, I turned out the lights, and her room seemed so dark. Darker than usual.
And Carsyn is a kid that hates the dark. It scares her pretty big time. So she yelled out almost in panic mode ... 'Turn the lights back on mom!! It's too dark in here!'
But I knew there was a night light on nearby. So I calmly replied ...
'Hang on Carsyn ... wait for a second. Your night light will make the room bright again .... just give it a minute.'
And as I said it, I had this thought ... isn't that true in life? In this world? In all the darkness that's manifesting itself?
We see the darkness and we get paralyzed ... 'Oh no, it's too dark!' ... and fear creeps in. The situation looks too big, too dark ... and we feel so small. Our fear of the darkness disables us. We forget we actually carry a light. And the light we carry has the power to brighten every place we go.
And I just had this picture in my mind of a nightlight in a dark room. And then a picture of a closed door with light shining through the bottom. And then a picture of a candle in the darkness. And in all these pictures, I saw one small light make a difference. One small light softened the darkness.
And I thought, man ... thats us! Thats the people who know love! We carry matches in our pockets ... we are torchbearers. And we have a responsibility to carry light wherever we go. We have a responsibility to take our matches out of our pockets and strike them. We have a responsibility to hold high our torch ... whatever and however that looks in our respective sphere of influence.
The world is dark. There are so many broken, hurting people. There is so much pain. So much grief. So much fear.
But love is the antidote. It's the opposite of fear. The opposite of darkness. It is the answer to every question.
And I don't know how to solve or help the brokenness of the world, but I am confident I will come in contact with at least one person tomorrow who needs love. One person who needs a kind word or gesture. One person who needs one person to show they care.
And I believe changing the world starts with one person being intentional with one person.
I haven't even been able to write a thing this past week because I have just felt a heavy weight of all the hurting in all the places in the world. All the injustice and grief. Pain and brokenness oozing out the seams. It has really paralyzed me. Because I have felt my words are just so ineffective in the big scheme of things.
And then tonight, when that happened in Carsyns room, it was like God awakened something in my heart ... all it takes is one small light to make a difference. We cannot let the magnitude of the darkness in the world paralyze us. Our light, no matter how small, matters! It actually makes a difference.
You, wherever you are, with whatever you are doing ... you have the power to make a difference in the world. Just start one person at a time.
Maybe that looks like hugging someone who is grieving. Maybe it looks like paying for someones groceries at the store. Maybe it looks like inviting a neighbor over for dinner. Or stopping and having a conversation with a person on the street. Love can look a million different ways. And the thing is, it doesn't really matter what it looks like, what matters is that it's given.
Because that is our hope. That is our light in the darkness. That is the antidote to fear. Love conquers all.
Don't give up. Even when you don't see immediate results. Keep being intentional with the person in front of you every day. It may take a little time, but if we are persistent in shining, the light will always overtake the darkness. Your light will help make things bright again ... just give it a minute.
Be the light.