So far in my "Let Your Light Shine" series we have be affected by a story about how a well loved high school ministry director's spotlight changed as he walked through the pain of losing his mom, and inspired by the honest words of a high school senior whose spark lit her path as she bravely recovered from a mountain fall.
Today we move to a totally different kind of light.
I love the 4th of July. I remember, as a young girl, watching the fireworks on a grassy golf course hill near my grandparent's house. We would lay on big blankets and look heavenward and be in awe of the colors and beauty of the fireworks. Now, as life is amazing, my own kids walk to the same hill from their own nana's house, lay on blankets and view the fireworks as well!
I like the ones that go up and have a single blast of color. I like the ones that have 2 colors bursting in the sky. I like the white ones that look like they are old-timey and could be from an old film. I like the ones that spiral down in many shoots. I like the ones that start as white and turn to blue.
Oh for Pete's sake.......I like them all!
But the ones I love the most........ are the finale ones! I wait, in anticipation, for that spectacular finale when they let a TON fly! Dozens and dozens of fireworks of all colors and types light up the night sky and the ground, illuminating the whole crowd that has gathered. Before the finale I can only really see those people right around me, my family and friends. But with the explosion of the final flurry of fireworks I can clearly see the hundreds of people who are all on that big old grassy hill with me.
Each firework is made of a pasteboard tubing that is filled with some kind of combustible material (remember...I am not a science gal...so no technical explanation from me!). Each of these individual fireworks can light up and be its own astonishingly pretty color and form. Sometimes, though, they string each of these single fireworks together with others to create a complete explosive. They are tied together with string that winds through all of them to create the long ladder-like bond of fireworks.
It just needs to be ignited to be able to view the incredible display.
It just takes is a single spark......for hundreds and thousands of fireworks to light up!
Sometimes we hear about, or are blessed enough to experience, the outrageously big love that tons of people can forge when they all ban around a cause, or a person, or an event. The light created from these things can be blindingly beautiful. I can think of many of these but I will just highlight a few...
My favorite blog is one written by a strong willed, brilliantly funny, stunningly smart woman who.... is a flawed gal.... she is a mess. Just like me. Just like you. I can't tell you the number of times I have read her words and thought, "Yes! That is EXACTLY what I think and feel!". The crazy thing is.... millions of other women think that same thing. Glennon Melton of Momastery has grown to be the voice of millions of women. She lifts people up, treats them with kindness, admits her own failings, struggles with life and health, empowers people to love each other and inspires the world daily. She was once an individual firework. But as she grew and built a community of other women who felt like they, too, were lonely single fireworks, she formed a bundle of fireworks that lights up the internet sky weekly! She just has to put out a blog post telling the story of a mom who needs help and thousands of people offer. She just has to share the needs of an organization that needs funds or a car to transport kids and tens of thousands of people give. This is one amazing finale show..........day after day after day.
A local middle school teacher, who is much loved, has a sweet daughter who has had many medical struggles. Her daughter needed to have a major spinal surgery. That surgery took her and her mom to a different state far away from their support system. They were gone a long time and were missed dearly. The cool thing is that even while gone from this community I think they, even if only for moments, felt like they were just minutes away because of the out-reaching actions of support they received. On the day of the daughter's surgery our whole community wore pink (her favorite color) in support of the long, grueling surgery she would have to endure. Hundreds of pictures were posted on Facebook all day long. As a mom, I can only imagine how this must have lifted that special teacher up, as she sat for hours upon hours in hospital waiting room hoping to hear the best news. Those pictures, notes and pink apparel lit up the community....the hospital...and their hearts. It was a marvelous show of lights and love!
We all are single fireworks. We were made with a combustible material. We have this tough, yet flexible, shell that protects what is inside. We each have a fuse.
Sure, we can be lit and be bright....
For a moment.
For a few minutes.
We can make someone smile.
Change a mood.
We each look different when lit up alone....
Some of us are those white old-timey fireworks.
Some of us are bright red.
Some of us change colors.
Some of us twist and spiral.
Some of us shine in the sky and some stay on the ground.
Some of us go off with a large bang and others have a quiet whistle.
And when we are lit we shine our light and others can see us and those close around us.
But..........when our fuses join with others..... a couple, a dozen, a hundred, a thousand.......
we can look like that ladder-like firework!!! Tied together by a common bond, with the intended purpose of lighting up the whole sky making it easier to see all of those who aren't right next to us. It can assist us in seeing the bigger world around us.
We all wait, in anticipation......lazily laying on the grass.......for those fireworks, with different characteristics but a common mission, to shine at the very same time.
When that happens....it is staggering and miraculous.
We, as a group of fireworks, as human beings, have the ability to shine our collective lights in a breath-taking magnificent way that can move people, inspire many and.....maybe even one day.... change the world.
We just need to find that REALLY long string....and join our fuse to it.
May you see the string.
May you add your fuse to the long line of others on that string.
May you be willing to be part of that sensational finale.....
except not just at the end of everything....
but in your everyday lives.