“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NIV)
It was the week after Christmas a few years ago and I was harboring a nasty case of the post- holiday blues. I had always been light-sensitive and the thought of the long, dark Winter ahead was depressing. During Christmas the lights, music, decorations, food, family, fun and loving spirit had kept me smiling but now it was Just Winter. And I wasn’t looking forward to it.
In addition to this the weather had been up and down all December long. I had hoped for a light snow to brighten the landscape that day but instead the temperature had risen a few degrees and we were getting a gray, gloomy rain instead. It had soaked through my shoes and socks too leaving my feet feeling blue with cold. I shivered. I just wanted to get back home, pull on a warm sweater and some fresh socks, lay on my bed and daydream of Spring. As I headed toward my house I saw the rain pounding the brown, dead grass in my backyard meadow and looked at the leafless trees in the woods behind it. The whole world seemed unloved, lifeless and lonely. “It’s going to be a long Winter”, I said dejectedly.
Just at that moment, however, a crack appeared in the sky and a single shaft of light shown through. My heart leapt up to meet it and I could feel the love that sent it. It seemed like God was shining this Heavenly light just for me, to lead me out of my darkness, lift me out of my depression and light a little candle in my own soul. I smiled and laughed. I gazed at that single, shaft of light for as long as it lasted. Then I closed my eyes and simply said, “Thank You!”
There are times in our lives when we seem lost in the cold and the dark, times when this world seems to be getting the best of us. It is then that God often sends us a single shaft of light to warm our hearts, brighten our souls, and lead us back to our own love. Embrace and cherish each one you get. And don’t forget that sometimes you can be that light to others as well.
Joseph J. Mazzella