You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:14-16 from the Message
The well-known artist stands in front of the class and opens up his presentation with “I’m here to tell you what techniques and strategies work for me. I know y’all will have your style of doing art. My demonstrations are about what I find works for me.” Sounds reasonable, right? But five minutes later, the artist stands by a student’s table, picks up a small bucket of brushes she brought with her, and begins to admonish her in front of the class. “Why did you bring all of these? You don’t need that many brushes. It’s a waste of your space. You only need three brushes. You won’t use all these. Only bring the three brushes you need.”
Sadly, I sense that the student begins to shrink a bit into herself. She sighs, and the looks down at her table, while the rest of the class laughs. The moment passes, the class continues…but I think to myself “the damage has been done.”
If we are to be Light bearers, bringing God-colors into the world, we need to arm and protect ourselves from those who want us to hide our Light. You know who they are. All of us have those people in our lives. You have those people around you. I have those people around me. These bullies desire us to shrink and hide our Light under the bucket. They needle us, overtly and sometimes covertly, with messages that we are not important enough, that we have nothing to offer, and are not valued. You know who these people are in your life.
Friends, it’s time to “shine our God-given light” and leave them behind. When we shine our Light, we find it is a most powerful tool to combat those who want us to shrink.
Embrace your uniqueness. If you want to use 20 brushes in a painting, use 20 brushes.Claim your God-colors and meet derision with decency.
Love and celebrate the Light and God-colors in others, whose words and works help you grow into your own unique self.
Comfort and advocate for those who are being oppressed.Be joyful and spirited.
May God bless this meditation.
Oh spirited One, may it be so. May we all be your Color and Light-bearers in these divisive times.
In your name, we pray…Amen.