Unfortunately for me, I’ve always been naive. Well, maybe not unfortunately, but I always thought I was at a disadvantage. I tried to not let it show, but I’m not sure I was ever very successful at it.
I would get disappointed looks, eyes would roll, sighs would be made. Many wouldn’t have patience for me.
As I’ve gotten older, I don’t even try to hide it anymore. This is me…a big part of me.
I don’t get dirty jokes. I don’t get clean ones either. It seems to take me longer to understand something that others are able to pick up rather quickly. I’m oblivious to subtle things, obvious things too.
I’ve always felt other people knew more than me. I didn’t think I was dumb, but I sure felt like I was slow.
I have to say, though, what I lacked in innovation, I made up for in dedication. Once I learned something, I made sure I out preformed everyone. This may be why others never understood my insecurities.
Recently, I was meeting with my pastor to discuss how to reach out to those who are hurting from divorce and how to rise above their woundedness for the sake of their children. We talked about feelings and behaviors that could get in their way or how they could lash out.
But I didn’t understand.
Why would someone act that way? How could someone do that? But that doesn’t make sense?
He paused for a few seconds, carefully selecting the right words; then told me,
“You and I, really are spoiled. We are surrounded by lights.”
Lights, meaning others who let the light of Jesus shine through them. They intentionally try to live a life that honors Christ.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. – Matthew 5:14
I love being surrounded by lights. I finally feel safe. Not only do I not feel someone is going to take advantage of me, but I feel protected. I feel sheltered.
No one is going to make fun of me. Well, they still laugh at me but it’s because they enjoy me. They appreciate me the way I am. I’m not looked down upon. I belong.
I had never thought about it.
What if he’s right? And, what if I’m so out of touch with the darkness, that I can’t show anyone my light?
What if my light, that is in the middle of everybody else’s light, enables me from ever reaching out into the darkness.
I can try to intentionally live a life that honors Christ amongst others who look like me and therefore, continue to live in my Christian bubble.
But I don’t think that honors Christ, and I don’t think he intended everyone to plant themselves on one hill.
I think what he intended, was once you were drawn to a light, and after your own light was lit, you would move to another hill, or back to your own, so that others would be drawn to you, too.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, – Matthew 28:19
I wouldn’t say I’ve been a light for too long. Only the last 10 years or so. Before that I was surrounded by darkness.
I lived in the darkness. Rolled around in it. Covered by it. Breathed it in and exhaled it out. I knew Jesus, but didn’t live a life that honored him.
True, my stories are superficial, in comparison to others. But the point is, I’ve been there. I know what it is like.
I know pain. I know loneliness. I’ve felt powerless, hopeless and being helpless. I’ve been jealous and prideful. I’ve lashed out and I’ve built up walls.
I’ve tried doing my life, my way. I’ve tried to escape from whatever was pulling me down but never getting up.
So please understand my hesitancy, if I don’t want to leave my center of lights and go back there. It’s scary there in the darkness. Who, that has come out of it, would ever want to go back into it?
It’s painful there, not only for the ones living in the darkness, but for everyone who witnesses it too.
What if someone is drawn to me and I can’t help them? What if I can’t ease their pain? What if I don’t have all the answers?
But, then again…
What if I stop thinking this light of mine was about me, and trusted Jesus to spark a light in someone else; like he sparked in me?
What if I allowed my light to overcome me so there is less of me, and more of him?
What if I only came to visit my town on a hill, to feed my flame so that I could light a way that leads father and farther into the darkness?
What if I had faith instead of fear?
What if I stopped thinking I was so special and had faith that what Jesus did for me, he could actually do for someone else?
What if… I… got out of his way?
After all, if I, being as naive as I am got it, imagine what he could do with someone else!
Yes, I am a light living on a hill. I might not be hidden, but I sure can’t be seen.
So I’ve decided I will continue to visit this hill from time to time. But I also need to start venturing out into the darkness.
Perhaps, build another town, on another hill. A place for new lights to shine and for Jesus to be seen.