Most Sundays I stand up at church and worship with some pretty talented people on stage.
Since I live in Branson, Missouri, the live music capital of the world, I’m kind of spoiled with professional musicians and singers standing on stage each week creating amazing musical art. Regardless of their day jobs though —
it’s what I see inside of them that draws me closer to God.
One woman in particular, Carolyn, stands there Sunday after Sunday belting out the most beautiful songs you could imagine. I swear if she would sing me to sleep every night I’d sleep like a rock. She’s declined thus far, but I’ll keep asking.
Though her voice is beautiful, that’s not the only thing that draws me to her. It’s the light that shines through her. She closes her eyes, lifts her hands in the air, and sings to an audience of one. There’s no performance – just her and God.
We all need someone with that light around us, especially as the world grows darker.
When you’re surrounded by those “Carolyn’s,” there’s that feeling of peace. The feeling of safety. You know the light beaming off her is from none other than our Creator.
Light brings honesty, laughter, stillness, and authenticity. You’re the same whether you’re performing for a church congregation or serving dinner for your family. I’ve seen Carolyn do both. She is who she is on and off stage.
Sometimes I struggle with this – trying to be the same person for everyone. Depending on the moment I can find myself trying to “perform” for the sole purpose of getting someone to like me. What I realize though, is that doesn’t draw people closer to me, it pushes them away.
I believe we’re in a world where people crave authenticity.
Perhaps we’ve just pretend so long, it’s going to take a while to get back to that.
Then there are those opposite of my friend Carolyn. We can call them the “Debbie Downers” in our lives. Some of them our own family members. We dread seeing them, even if it’s once a year for the Holidays.
Or there’s the co-worker you’re forced to share an office with everyday. You know every detail of their problems. Everything that happens in their life is someone else’s fault. 40 hours per week you’re surrounded by the darkness of their depression and you can’t force yourself to spend one more moment with them.
By the time Friday rolls around, you’re begging to see the light of the weekend.
We live in a dark world, there’s no doubt. Someone is dying every time we turn the television on. Children are being abandoned by their drug-addicted parents. Husbands and wives who once professed their undying love for each other refuse to make eye contact with one another as they stand in divorce court.
But there’s still hope. Even in the midst of darkness, there are those “Carolyn’s” for all of us. Maybe you have one in your life. Maybe you are that one.
Perhaps you want to be that light.
Or perhaps you can’t bring yourself to see any light because the darkness is safer for you. Remember there is a prince of this world whose job is to lie to you. If you’re that dark, depressed co-worker, lift your head up and look outside. There’s a world full of shining light waiting for you, but you have to embrace it.
I encourage you to surround yourself with those that shine with light. I also encourage you to strive to be that light to those of us who are yet to know it exists.
Do you have a Carolyn in your life? Are you a light to someone else? To reply, click HERE.
[Photo: MarilynJane, Creative Commons]