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Letting Your Light Shine

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Letting Your Light Shine

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The boy had recently stopped attending the Protestant church he was raised in when he witnessed his youth minister cussing out the church secretary. His home life was in turmoil, as his parents were battling through a contentious family matter. Things could hardly have been darker, and he wondered if life was worth living.

That day as he worked, a customer with a thick beard and sunny smile noticed the boy and said: “Hello there, young man. My name is Randy. What’s your name?” The young man mumbled something unintelligible, but Randy persisted. Making eye contact with the troubled teen, he said, “No really, what’s your name?”

Feeling a little uncomfortable with the unusual attention, the boy replied. Now calling him by name, Randy inquired: “How’s life treating you? Things a little tough?” After receiving a shrug and another mumble, Randy picked up his grocery bag and told him: “Hang in there. It gets better!” He looked back, smiled and walked out the door.

Now the boy was intrigued. He had been noticed by an adult and not because they wanted something. Randy had spoken to him and been kind. Days, perhaps a week, went by before the boy saw him again. “Hi! How’s it going?” Randy said. The boy gave the usual response and received another “Hang in there. It gets better!” as Randy exited the store. Another week passed before the final interaction occurred, much like the previous. It confirmed that Randy was a kind person who could see the “invisible” teenager.

“We never know what seeds we may be planting for the future. As we move through life, in the light of the truth that God has shone into our lives, we could show that light to others.”

How often do we, as Christians, interact with people who are struggling in the darkness of Satan’s world? How often do we see them? Really seeing the pain and struggle they are going through and then tossing them a life ring of hope? Something as simple as offering a few kind words or a gracious smile. Do we let our light shine into their lives?

Randy never said a word that would be considered “religious.” He was simply kind and genuine, letting his light shine into a dark life. We never know what seeds we may be planting for the future. As we move through life, in the light of the truth that God has shone into our lives, we could show that light to others.

We could notice the pain in another’s eyes, not just move past, never engaging or handing out hope. We could sow good seeds, rather than seeds that say, “I can’t be bothered.” Read Matthew 5:14-16 Matthew 5:14-16 [14] You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. [15] Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house. [16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
American King James Version×
and recognize there is action involved! God expects people to glorify Him because we let the light He gave us shine! If we simply hide under a bushel, avoiding interaction with the people in darkness, how are we fulfilling that commission?

Three years after that last interaction, the young man stood outside a rented hall, prepared to endure two hours of preaching while attending his parents’ new church. He knew without a shadow of a doubt that he would never return. He opened the door, stepped into the room, and as he glanced around, he saw something that made him laugh within himself, exclaiming silently to God: “Wow! You got me!” As he crossed that room 35 years ago he knew he had found his spiritual home and that he would never leave.

As I stopped in front of him, Randy smiled and said: “Hi, Steve! It took you long enough.” Without shrugging or mumbling I asked, “Why didn’t you tell me, Randy?” He stated, “It wasn’t your time yet.” To which I happily replied, “Well, I’m here now!”