Let My Little Light Shine


Yesterday Emari, a delightful six-year-old who lives with us, asked me to sing “This Little Light of Mine” for her. So I did. Right there in the middle of Taco John’s over crinkled paper-wrapped tacos, I belted it out loudly as I had in my childhood—without regard to the ears of those around me. Emari’s tremulous voice joined in on the parts she knew as I plowed through all the verses I could remember and repeated the chorus. Her mother simply blushed. (I think my having the keys to the car kept her from making the quick exit she was hoping for.)

Later in the day, I was thinking about what the song meant to me as a child and what it means to me now. Back then I thought it meant that if I believed in God I had to let people know it. I was to let my Christianity shine for all to see. I still believe that is the main message of the song, but now I see that there are many more layers to it. It talks about Satan blowing out our light. As a child I thought that meant he was going to snuff us out…as in kill us dead. As an adult, I realize it is much more than that. He wants to kill our joy, to make us grouchy curmudgeons, bitter busybodies, judgmental oafs. He wants to kill our relationship with God and help us cause others to do the same.

Satan wants to bury our light (love for others, helping hands, joyful hearts, concerned prayer) under the burden of everyday life (laundry, bills, kids, work, waistlines, relationships). If we are waking up in the morning with worry on our minds, how can we shine throughout the day? If our running thoughts are about how to pay the mortgage, how someone hurt to our feelings, or how to keep our children from driving us crazy, there isn’t time to talk with God or pray for others. With every worry, Satan’s smile widens.

I don’t want Satan smiling at me. I want him to worry about what I’ll do next. I saw one of those Pinterest cards that said, “Be the kind of woman, who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says, ‘Oh, no, she’s up!'” I love that so much that I may get a tattoo of it (well, the kind that washes off). I want to shine so bright that he has to wear shades. I know it won’t be easy, but I am right here, right now pledging to let my little light shine.

You should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 NCV


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