Women of a certain age like me often get up during the night. Some nights more than once.
What we do is our own business, but suffice to say it’s a good thing we do actually get up.
The past couple of winters when I woke up in the middle of the night, fumbling my way in the dark, I would peek out our bathroom window and see a small Christmas wreath with lights shining from the back porch of a neighbor one street over. They hung it up and left it. The first winter without my Daddy they turned it on every single night.
And left it on all through to the sun rising the next morning.
The funny thing is their back porch faces my neighbor’s backyard. In a weird, “I think the developer wasn’t completely sober when he mapped this out” kind of way. It doesn’t face a house, just their backyard–and my bathroom window looks out over his backyard as well.
And so I saw the lights.
During those cold, dark nights of learning to live without the man who made me and molded me and loved me, I found comfort in those lights.
They gave me hope. They told me I wasn’t alone during a time of night, of my life, when I felt most alone in the darkness and heartbreak.
They were always there.
Those neighbors, whom I never really met, moved some time during this past summer. I didn’t think anything about it until a few nights ago. I got up, like I do, and I peeked out the window and it hit me how much I miss that wreath and those lights. Always shining, always there. Always a beacon of hope.
Tonight I give thanks for folks who shine their lights–for days and weeks and months on end. The gift they give to those of us stuck in the dark is greater than they will ever know.
If you are discouraged that you are doing your best and being kind and not hiding your light under a bushel-no!-and wondering if it even matters, please know this. There is someone who sees. Someone who notices and gives thanks for your light. You may never meet them or hear their story of how you rescued them and showed them hope and gave them comfort by all that you do, but rest assured, your light is a gift to this world. If you save only one from the sadness and brokenness and darkness, you have made the world a more beautiful place.
And for those grace-filled souls who do just that, I am especially thankful.
May today be a day of shining your light for all–or One–to see. And if you are in the dark, look for the light. It’s there, you just might have to get up in the middle of the night to see it. Or peek out your window. But it’s there. I promise. You’re welcome to come walk with me–we can look for it together. That’s the beautiful thing about light. The more who gather around it, the more it is magnified and reflected.
Love and Light to all.