On the end of our baby grand piano is a flickering candle inside a brown tin lantern. The tin has snowflakes—large and small—stamped out in random intervals, allowing just the right amount of light to filter out and warm the edges of our living room.
I love it when the lights are turned down at night. Only the snapping of the logs in the fireplace and the pages turning in the book in my hands and this little light for my company. It’s comforting. Pleasant. Warm.
But as I’m writing this post right now, it’s bright outside. Sunshine is streaming through the windows and my sister is stretching to go for a run. The candle is on, but the flicker is only noticed when I look straight at the candle. It’s not casting any shadows or prompting any notice beyond just being there.
Isn’t that a metaphor for the Christian light as well? Doesn’t it often feel as though we are flickering in a bright place only to go unnoticed? Isn’t it hard when we want to shine so brightly for Christ and don’t feel as though we are getting anywhere? I know I often feel this way. If I’m not standing on the street corner preaching about Christ, then surely people don’t know that I love Him. If I don’t mention some part of my faith to everyone I meet then surely I’m failing at what God wants me to do.
And more often than not don’t we feel as though we are the only candle in a dark room? That all the lights are out and only evil surrounds, wanting to snub out our fragile light flickering through the holes punched out of our tin prison?
Has God placed you in one of these two places? Both can feel equally lonely and equally unfulfilling. But both need the light that is flickering from your lantern. Some lights shine brighter than others. And some lighters are dimmer. Maybe, like me, you’re discovering new ways to bring light in the dark places. But maybe you’re also learning new ways to make your light more noticeable in the day.
I’ve been in both places. The dark and the light. And honestly, for me, the hardest of the two is shining my light in the day. We know the darkness. We know what lurks there and how to fight it. But it’s often the daytime that takes us by surprise. We (I) can forget and get sucked into the dangers of everyday life. Gossiping. Poor influence. Partaking in conversation that is far from edifying to God—even if all we do is stand there and listen.
We (I) forget and our light grows dimmer when all it should be doing is becoming bolder.
Our light might become visibly brighter the darker our world becomes, but it should always draw attention to the fact that it’s there no matter the time of day or competing factors. Shining for our Savior in a world that needs the reminder on an instant to instant basis.