Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shining and Doing

"How do I let my light shine?"

He is intense and frustrated.

"How do I know that I'm doing it?"

He has a ferocious scowl when he's this serious.

I know, little son, I know.  But how do I explain it to you when it's a dance I'm still fumbling through myself?  I know the direction of the steps, but execute them better some days than others.  It'll be no help to explain the grammar of "letting".

I know it's not about doing.  And yet we crave the doing.



Got it right.

There's so much safety in defining the doing and then checking it off as accomplished.  Never mind the security of knowing that those who choose to judge me will come to the conclusion that I'm getting it right.

Therein lies the essence of the Pharisees.  And exhaustion.  It's only attractive to those with the same disease.  To everyone else it looks like oppression.

It's more about being...which feels a bit too vague until you get in the habit.  Choosing gratitude, believing that He is good and His plans for us are good.  Living aware of His presence.   Meditating on His love and grace.  Every act becoming an act of worship.  Falling in love all over again.  Joy begins to bubble up and suddenly the light is shining whether you're rescuing orphans or holding the door for someone. Scrubbing the floor (again!) or feeding the homeless.   Light is shining!

It's not an excuse for not doing.  It's just that the doing comes out of the being.  It's the response of a lover rather than a laborer.  It's joy.  It's a beacon of hope.

And so I told him about the moon and the sun and how the moon reflects the sun when its face is turned to the light.  How living with our faces turned to the Son is what makes our light shine no matter what we're doing.  That might seem too abstract and an adult.  His little brow smoothed and he snuggled in with a sigh.  He may not be able to explain it to someone else, but something deep inside resonated and he rested.

I'll walk with you, little man, and we'll learn the steps together.

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading a book about the Anglican Book of Common Prayer in which they talk about the way the word "prevent" has changed meanings since the days of King James English. It's main meaning used to be "to go before" In this case, God goes before the parent who in turn goes before the child. The boy has a lot of others in front of him. He can't miss. :)