light of mine

"You are the light of the world.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand,
and it gives light to everyone in the house."
Matthew 5:14-15

i'm forcing myself to write. completely against my will, in much the same way i force myself to finish the laundry or unload the dishwasher. words and thoughts piled up, waiting to be pressed and folded, neatly organized and reorganized and put away. stored somewhere along the cybershelves of my blog. void of the typical poignant packaging. i've opened and closed this blog more times than i can count over the last two weeks and though my life has been moving at an even faster pace than usual, i find pieces of myself completely still.

i was completely paralyzed by earthquake in Haiti. unable to write. unable to think.

since that moment in late Spring of last year, i have experienced almost every facet of life in a completely different way: it as though i am seeing everything with new eyes; hearing everything with new ears; feeling everything with a new heart. i'm overtly emotional on birthdays and holidays. it's as though i had viewed the world through shades of gray; a grainy and silent black and white motion picture turned to high definition sound and color. in an instant - against the minuscule scale of my own personal life and the grand scale of humanity - the backdrop changed. along with everything else. one of my many perspectives that have been radically altered by His truth is this:
"The Great Commission is not an EITHER/OR option, but a BOTH/AND command. From cover to cover, the Bible teaches that all the church – not just select individuals, but all the church is created to reflect all the glory of God to all the world. We are all commanded and commissioned to make disciples of all nations. Each of us must Pray and Give and GO." ~ The Church at Brook Hills
i'd always felt foreign missions were for a few. you know, those who were called. the Lord didn't just change my mind on this, He changed my heart and just a few weeks ago, i turned in my paperwork for my first short-term mission trip. shades of gray transformed to technicolor.

witnessing, along with the rest of the world, the aftermath of a natural disaster was different, too. in the naivete of my youth unbelief, such tragedy would only fuel my doubts about the nature of God. in my humanness, i couldn't reconcile God and such tragedy. and frankly, i didn't try. it wasn't for me to understand His ways or question His sovereignty. but as i heard and watched and read the words and images from Haiti, those familiar pangs of fear and doubt were noticeably absent and in their place, an overwhelming compelling just to pray. there was but one thought that resonated in me. i didn't think it, but i felt it, and it was simply: God desires to pour out His spirit on the suffering that He might make Himself known. that isn't profound revelation, but biblical truth. for the people of Haiti. for me. for you.

for those of us fortunate enough to find refuge in our comfortable suburban cul de sacs, the veil is ripped. we pause, for a brief moment, to feel empathy, to pray, to give. and then our lives continue. and we stitch the veil back together with the threads of our everyday lives. for the most part - if not the whole part - we remain unchanged. we move on. because our lives move on. because we feel we have no choice but to move on. because everyone else is moving on.

but instead of moving on, i have been continually following the blog of one American family in Haiti who, living by faith, radically abandoned this life to live in radical obedience. in the aftermath of the quake, they did not flee, but set up a makeshift clinic. i have witnessed, through the words and actions of this family, more miracles in one week than most hear about in a lifetime...

and this is where my words become inadequate. details of my everyday life, my everyday walk, become trite. i am standing still and everyone else is moving forward. headlines are obscured with football scores and celebrity gossip. we move on. and yet, something inside of me remains unsettled. something feels inherently wrong with waking in the morning and selecting what clothes to wear. i am painfully aware of the privilege of my every move, my every possession. backing my car out of the driveway, pushing a button and watching the garage door close. children fastened safely in their seats. car rider line. traffic. even against my will, i am moving on with a part of my heart paralyzed - and that feels wrong, too. i can pray. i can give. but beyond that, in that moment - and all the ones that follow - i am helplessly inadequate. small. one of six billion. my own words and thoughts fade into obscurity - even from myself. i lose sight of what i'm writing. i lose sight of why i'm writing. i don't know what i'm doing. i don't know what i should be doing...

and then, out of nowhere - or out of somewhere, rather - i hear the faint whisper of my daughter singing, "This little light of mine/I'm gonna let it shine/This little light of mine/I'm gonna let it shine/This little light of mine/I'm gonna let it shine/Let it shine/Let it shine/Let it shiiiiine." "Mommy," she says later, "i know what the little light is!". "What is it?", I ask. "It's Jesus in my heart!"

and so i write again. because it's what i do. because of this little light of mine.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others..."
Matthew 5:16


  1. AMEN! Nadia, I have to tell you, I'm so glad you forced yourself to write. I loved this post!

  2. Shine, baby shine, for all to see!


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