Letting Your Light Shine

One of the rallying songs the marchers and protesters sang during the Civil Rights Movement was “This Little Light of Mine.” The idea behind that song comes partly from Luke 11:33. That scripture verse teaches that a lamp is not meant to be hidden under a bowl but put on a stand so that those who enter the room can see by its light. A few verses later, in Luke 12:2, Jesus says that there is nothing hidden that will not be made known. I’m seeing these two thoughts as connected: Jesus wants us to be transparent. He wants us to be, outwardly, whoever and whatever we are in our hidden places. He wants us on display. One of my favorite lines from a poem says it well: “Ef a man is what he isn’t, den he isn’t what he am.” I am beginning to realize that blogging will be a special challenge for me in terms of transparency. Am I really willing to put on display what it is that I’m learning each day? I like the challenge, but it is more subtle and has more implications than it may seem. Some of my readers are family members. They know me pretty well and probably won’t be surprised by anything I write. Some readers are friends but not family. They may learn some things about me that surprise them, but there’s no real threat with that. Other readers could be colleagues from work. They will see a personal side of me that may surprise them to some degree. I really don’t talk about my faith much at work, but, here I sometimes write about an insight from the Bible. That may surprise my work colleagues. They may begin to relate to me differently as they come to know that side of me. That could be good or bad, and I won’t have any control over their reactions. Beyond that, I have no idea who may read this stuff. Possibly no one. But, because it is “out there” and public, the potential exists for literally anyone to read it. In my fantasy world, I’d like to believe that something I write here may actually influence someone, somewhere in a positive way. So, I’ll do my best to “be what I is,” and hope for the best.

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Found in Best Loved Poems of the American People, edited by Hazel Felleman, published in 1936 by Random House.

 

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One thought on “Letting Your Light Shine

  1. I love that poem! What a difference it would make if everyone followed that advice – too many folks try to be what they “ain’t”. Maybe that is what causes so much trouble in this world.

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