Word Up Wednesday: Be Light / by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

As promised, I am continuing Word Up Wednesday by featuring reflections written during my Clinical Pastoral Education Internship. The following was written in December 2015. (It's purely coincidence that I'm posting this during the High Jewish Holy days) Again, Scripture was added and minor edits made to be shared here on www.reverendmotherrunner.com

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
— Matthew 5:16

Today marks the fourth day of Hanukkah. Our Jewish sisters and brothers across the world are celebrating the eight day Festival of Lights. Each night, a candle is lit in commemoration and rededication. It is fitting then that we reflect on the words of Rabbi Moshe Davis. Rabbi Davis, scholar of Jewish History, once said, “A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other. You are such a light.”

image from www.pexels.com

image from www.pexels.com

We are light. Each and every one of us has within us the light of love and the light of joy. We shine the light of grace and the light of kindness. Our gifts, talents, skills and abilities brilliantly blaze. And with these attributes we are called to share with others so that their lives will be enriched and enlivened. When we share our lights with others something remarkable happens. Not only are others lives graced with brightness and illumination, but we ourselves burn more brightly. When we share joy, our smiles widen with glee. When we are kind to others, our souls sing from within. When we cultivate skills in others—teaching them methods and tasks—we learn in the process.

What a shame, if our lights never touch the lives of others. What a shame if we are never touched by the light of others. But what a miracle, when we share our lights with others. A small kindness, a tiny gesture, simple joy can be passed on in such a way that the light of our lives will have far reaching brilliance. I cannot help but think about the simplicity of greeting another with a smile. Many times, I can recall being deep in thought or troubled by a situation in life, walking with a scowl on my face. And I can recall the times when my scowl was met with a smile. In that moment, I smiled back. And my smile was not momentary, but became lasting, shared with the next person I passed. And while I do not know exactly how that smile was shared, I do know that a simple gesture by one, had the power to change the countenance of many.

And so, as Rabbi Davis said, “A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other. You are such a light.”

May I share a prayer with you?
Gracious God, thank you for the light that shines within us and around us. Use us, we pray to ignite the flame of joy, love, peace, and kindness in others. When our light grows dim, send people to reignite our lives. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.