Sharing the Light of Jesus Christ
A devotional by Jessica Brodie
It had been a hard week—rent was due, and she had no idea whether she’d make it or have to ask the landlord for an extension. Again. Her cupboard was down to Ramen noodles, two eggs, white rice, and a can of black beans, and while she still had gas in her tank, it wouldn’t be long until she ran out.
Despair circled her like a cloak. Would it always be this way? Why did everything feel like such an uphill climb and she was walking against the wind?
Then, in line at the post office, the lady in front of her waves her ahead, winking kindly. “You go first, sweetheart. I’m in no rush.”
Trying to turn left in traffic, first one car stops for her and then another, letting her pass instead of having to wrestle her way through the throng.
Walking into her office building, a man holds the door for her, and in the elevator, an older woman puts her cell phone away and looks her in the eye.
“Good morning! Beautiful day, isn’t it?” the woman says to her with a smile—the sort of smile that says: I see you. You matter. You are a child of God.
With that, her mood has lifted. Her circumstances haven’t changed, but a kernel of hope, comfort, and perseverance has taken hold of her heart. A fresh wind begins to blow.
And that day, driving home from work, she finds herself doing much the same: letting someone go ahead of her in traffic. Smiling at a stranger. Saying hi to the little kid on the stairwell.
They are such simple things, these small acts of kindness. They cost nothing, usually, and yet have the power to bring such great love, consolation, support, and camaraderie to those around us. A smile. Meeting someone’s eye. Holding a door. Little things, but hugely significant in impact—like a sliver of moon shining in the dark night can illuminate your path, or the glow of one small cell phone light in a pitch-black hotel room can help you feel safe.
In Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, He talks about the importance of being that light to others: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT).
Sometimes, life can be hard, and it can feel like you are an island by yourself in the middle of a storm. Even for believers, the light of Christ might shine in your heart, but it’s tough to see any other lights in an often-gloomy world.
But Jesus tells us not to bury that light beneath a basket, not to hide it in our hearts. Instead, we must place it on a stand for all to see. That means compassionate gestures in a cold, isolating, sometimes unfriendly world. That means offering words of comfort or sweetness to another, even a stranger, when we feel that nudge from the Holy Spirit. That means paying for someone’s meal behind you at the drive-thru just because.
You never know what your light can mean to someone else—or how you can draw them to Jesus.
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden.
She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministries team.
Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com/shiningthelight.