Sleep on This: Shiny (May 15)
Good evening, friend:
It’s the sort of story that deserves to be repeated…because it is such a great story. And because it puts my daughter, one of my favorite persons, in such a great light…literally. So, I repeat!
My in-laws were visiting and my father-in-law, Boyd, announced he had lost a large diamond off of his ring. He THOUGHT it might have fallen out as they unloaded the car…which was an enormous bummer since we had a gravel driveway. Most of the household joined the search party but, to my mind, it was utterly hopeless. A diamond in the gravel? A needle in a haystack? “Lo mismo.”
That night, I was watching TV when nine-year-old Rachel burst through the front door, crying out with even more than her customary gusto, “I found it! I found it!” I rushed toward the front door to see what she was talking about. And there she stood, a HUGE, so proud-of-herself- smile plastered on her face, holding up her little fist. “What did you find, Rachel?” She opened her hand…and there… was Boyd’s diamond!
“How in the WORLD did you do this!” I asked. “Well, daddy, I thought, ‘Diamonds sparkle in the dark,’ so I waited until it got dark, took a flashlight outside, laid down on the gravel and shined the light across the top of it. And the diamond sparkled!” So it did. Why didn’t I think of that? Why didn’t ANY adult think of that? Dang.
In chapter 2 of his letter to the Phillippians, Paul admonished them to be “blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life…”
This is not Paul urging Christians to behave themselves. This is Paul urging those who are indwelt by the Spirit of Christ (the Word of life) to let HIS light within them shine. And of course, the darker the surroundings…the shinier the light.
The place we stayed last weekend has a view of the Pacific. Once in a while, you can make out the fishing boats trolling the waters. But at night…THAT is when you really see them. Or rather, their running lights, because they stand out so brightly in the surrounding Stygian darkness. You just can’t miss them.
Hopefully…every Christian is a shiny reflection of the Christ who lives within them. If people don’t notice that something…SOMETHING…is different about us, it ought probably to cast doubt on the genuineness of our profession of faith. After all, “By their fruit you shall know them,” Jesus said.
But truly…especially …in darker times, we who are walking receptacles for the living Spirit of Christ OUGHT to shine as lights in the world. The way we face bad news, setback, disappointment, illness or darkness… it ought to be blazingly different. And when it is, we point those still fumbling about in darkness to the true source of light…and hopefully, brighten their gloomy lives a bit, too. So…be shiny!
Lord, as I lay me down to sleep, help me to remember the way in which others perceived me this day. Did I blend into the gloom of circumstance, or did I offer a ray of light…the hopeful light of Jesus? Tomorrow, Lord…will you please make me shinier, to the praise of your eternal glory. Amen.