Be Kind and Shine Your Light
On the day after the school shooting in Florida, while walking on the college campus where I currently teach, I spotted words beautifully etched on the colorful stones in the photo above. I was praying as I walked. Prayers uttered for teachers, our children, my children, students, my students, our schools, my school, and our nation.
There is a quiet place on my campus called The Meditation Garden. On February 15, I decided to sit on a ledge rather than at the tables and chairs because one little ray of sunlight shone there on an unusually cloudy day in Arizona. As I finished my prayer, I looked down and spotted these stones. I immediately took comfort in these words, and I felt God’s presence in hearing my prayers.
It is not difficult to find physical sunlight in Arizona on a daily basis, but on this day, the sun hid behind the clouds — except it shone brightly on this spot. This is symbolic of the darkness that this event has clouded us with, but there is a light greater than the darkness.
In pondering these words, I remembered how the scriptures implore us to be kind. For instance, Ephesians 4:32 states, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Do I apply these words to my life? What happens when someone cuts me off on the road? What is my response? Do I display elements of road rage, or do I leave enough space to let the other car in my lane? Perhaps that driver is rushing to the hospital or in a hurry for some type of emergency. Is it my place to judge the reason he or she cut me off? This scripture teaches me to forgive.
If I am in a long line at the store or bank, do I join in complaining with disgruntled customers, or do I think of the reason the line is long? Maybe the employee is new, or perhaps the computer system is down. Do I chastise that individual when I get to the front of the line, or do I acknowledge they are doing their best under the circumstances?
Matthew 5:16 states, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
The little stone that said, “Be the light amongst the darkness” definitely portrays this verse. How do I apply this verse to my life? Would someone be surprised that I am a believer? Do I blend in, or do I stand out? Do I go along with off-color office jokes, or does someone notice my silence? As a leader of my classroom, do I influence my students to think in a positive way, or do I influence them towards disillusionment in agreeing that there is a “gray” middle ground: what appears to be wrong is right, according to our society’s standards.
These stones gave me a lot to think about. Be kind to one another, and be the light amongst the darkness. Simple words of truth that give us hope and light in a dark time.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.