Light bulbs, Luxury, People Hurting and an Inspirational Story

May 22nd, 2010

Do Light Bulbs Shine Brighter in the Dark?

Of course not, light bulbs shine just as bright regardless of where they’re located.

And this is a silly question, but think, “If you were a light bulb, would you prefer to be in a miner’s headlamp or the headlight of a riding mower?”

Don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to be in the miner’s lamp: lighting up creepy recesses in a dark mine. There my light would be useful. Headlights on riding mowers aren’t near as useful. Who mows their lawn in the dark anyways? We usually cut grass in the daylight. And during the day a headlight is not necessary… and only barely visible.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Though our lights as Christians should be shining regardless of our circumstances, practically, some places need light more than others.

What got me thinking about “shining lights” was the article: 20 Years Old and Running an Orphanage. Katie’s self-sacrifice is inspiring to me. The fact she’s helping people is undeniable; through her good deeds her light is shining brightly.

With a church building on nearly every corner, does America have more than enough light to go around? I may have used to think so, but have since seen enough enclaves of darkness here even in the good old U.S. to be convinced otherwise. Even so, finding physical need here in America is like finding loose change in the couch. It’s there, but you have to look for it. At least in comparison to places like Haiti, Sudan, and Afghanistan.

Though light bulbs may shine with unwavering intensity regardless of location, I think us Christians are more chameleon. For us it’s true that, “Out of sight, out of mind.” We tend to only rise to challenges directly in our line of vision. What about the 24,000 children under the age of five who die every day?

When we aren’t literally faced with the stark reality of a starving child on our doorstep, we easily rationalize extravagances such as spending $700 on upgrading our Jeep (like I just did), buying new books on Amazon rather than checking out used ones from the library (something I do), or eating expensively and unhealthily when we could easily do otherwise (me again). All this rather than store up for ourselves treasure in heaven. All this rather than help people who have nothing, not even hope.

Obviously, not everyone is called to the slums of Calcutta. Job wasn’t, neither was Samson, Solomon, or Samuel… yet God had a unique plan for each of these men. He can use us wherever we are.

Nevertheless, all this raises questions.

First, “Where is my light shining today?”

Photo Credit: Poor Kid / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

2 Responses to “Light bulbs, Luxury, People Hurting and an Inspirational Story”

  1. Mandy Says:

    “What about the 24,000 children under the age of five who die every day?” – Very sad! :'(

    There are people who have it much worse than I do. And do I care? Does it or will it have any effect on me? Or do I just go about my life thinking about myself and what I can get out of life? Or only think of “safe” ways to serve the Lord, so I don’t have to step out of my comfort zone…much?

    Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Nick Says:

    I think there is benefit in just asking the questions you’re asking Mandy.

    Jesus too was moved by compassion when he saw the hurting:

    Matthew 9:36, Matthew 15:32, Mark 1:40-41, Luke 4:17-19, Luke 7:11-14

    Thanks for dropping by!

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