Monday, August 31, 2009

A Great Light Revisited

A number of years ago I attended a session of the Mennonite Camping Association biennial conference in Michigan. The group of Mennonite camping professionals from throughout Canada and the U.S. assembled for an evening worship session. The room was fully lit and on a stand in the center of the room was a small candle on a stand. The candle wasn’t anything that would draw more than a passing glance. Certainly it was not remarkable, nor memorable.

After the assembled group sang for a while the speaker took the podium and asked that the lights be turned out. When the room went dark, instantly the candle became the sole remaining light source in the room, and the candle became the focus of attention. It’s significance greatly magnified by the absence of any other light source. The speaker went on to point out that when people are in darkness, even a small light becomes a source of focus and hope. We are naturally drawn to the light.

If you are healthy, you may not think much about the darkness that overcomes people who are afflicted with chronic illness. It’s not easy being cheerful and hopeful when you are sick and sore and tired all the time; when life as you knew it is gone and death stares you in the face. Depression and sadness come over you like a moonless night. Even the smallest kindness can be a beacon of light and hope for someone mired in such darkness. I encourage you be that light for someone today.

Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

P.S. Throughout her cancer experience, Susan has been blessed and lifted up by many kind and encouraging and thoughtful people. Most of you who read our blogs are counted among them. Thank you.


  1. George,
    thanks for your reflection. Given some things going on out here on this side of the country, your reflection is helpful. I just wish I'd had it on Sunday when I decided to scrap what I'd prepared and speak to some concerns people shared with me before worship.

    This little light of mine. (Reveille!)

  2. Dear George: Your reflections keep me grounded in the knowledge that every minute we have with those we love is precious....oh, how we assume it all lasts forever....


  3. I am so glad Susie reminded us to read your posts! You do such a good job of writing. I'd like to add another "light" verse to your thoughts- "You are a chosen people, belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness, into his wonderful light." I Peter 2:9 Love and prayers, Janice Porter