Ray of Sunshine [Guest Post]
“You’re a nasty, nasty world.”
Allie Everly, Interrupted by Rachel Coker
Do you ever get this feeling? I tend to get it when browsing a large bookstore too long. The trash piled on the shelves full of the modern lure that sadly attracts so many young readers… it rather fills me with anger, discomfort, and a determination to write something that may someday sit cozily amidst that garbage and shine brightly for Christ.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
There is a darling little book I read on occasion titled Beautiful Girlhood, revised by Karen Andreola. Would you care to read a passage?
“Smiles and gladness are like sweet peas, in that the more you gather and give away the more you have. Leave your sweet peas on the vines, and the flowers are soon gone; but gather them closely each day and they will blossom the more and last the summer through. So save your smiles for special occasions, when there are joys abroad, and you will nearly run out of them altogether, but give them out at every opportunity, and the joy-vines of your heart will thrive and grow.”
Shouldn’t it be lovely to live this out? Think of all the joy and sunshine that would spring up around you. Hand out your smiles and inner joy to strangers, and they will walk away cheered by the sight of it. Pass around all of your encouragement and love to your household, and the entire atmosphere of the family will be changed.
But suppose you don’t hand out sunshine, and do quite the opposite. Be stiff and cold to strangers, and they will think for a moment that it was quite rude, but forget about it a minute later, for it is sadly normal for a teenage girl to have little interest in much besides herself. Throw out rude remarks and wallow in your selfishness at home, and the whole household will feel beat and trodden down.
For, my friends, your disposition affects everyone around you. In your household, the words and actions you throw out will affect the atmosphere, and soon everyone will be doing the same back to you. The words and actions strangers see in you will affect them as well. If you are cheerful and kind and encouraging to them, they will notice the light in you. “You are the light of the world.” Jesus commands us to live out our joy and sunshine. If this is so, why isn’t our world a brighter place? Why don’t we see the fruit of our apparent “sunshine” in our Christianity? Could it be this is because we don’t shine? Perhaps we are not throwing off our light in this nasty world. Well, why not? Quite frankly, we are selfish humans. We wish to have our own way. And when we do not have our own way, which, I am afraid to say is rather often, we sulk. We turn cold and sullen. My friends, if we do not have the strength to fight that selfishness, then we are not a light to this world. We are merely another abyss of darkness. And if this sad truth contributes to making this world a “nasty, nasty” place, then I daresay we are not doing our duty as followers of Christ.
Trust me, selfishness is a great struggle of mine as well, a great struggle. And I do not think I have been a good example as a light of the world lately, particularly in my household. However, that is not an excuse to not get up and try again. We are humans. ‘Tis the truth. We will stumble. Our light will flicker and we will make mistakes. But rather than focusing on ourselves constantly, we should focus on others and being Christ’s light of the world. We should be that ray of sunshine that is a bright refuge and haven amidst darkness in our nasty, nasty world.
Emily is a homeschool student living in Tennessee, who has a patriotic spirit and a heart for her Lord. Her imaginative mind is constantly on the go, and she lives out that imagination through reading, writing, and a dabble of photography. Her loves include Narnia, old-fashioned things, Dollywood, family and friends, being happy, her characters, and finding kindred spirits. You can read more about her and her work-in-progress over at her blog, A Thousand Words, located in a wee little valley amidst Writerly Hill.