Shedding Light on Darkness

By Vic Kohring, August 31, 2019

Our world has become an increasingly dark place. The drums of war and military conflict threaten many a nation and terrorism is a constant worry, especially here. Serious political divisions exist and fighting between Democrats and Republicans is getting more vicious. Socialism with all its evils is making a comeback and being embraced by many. It's easy to see. Just look at the news, which typically accentuates the negative and make things look even worse as if throwing gas on a fire. 

We as individuals can do little to stop war, terrorism or political battles, but there's a lot we can do to help each other on a more personal level. Many are hurting inside and the pain is often deep. A person may look fine outwardly but can be filled with turmoil inside with hurt, sadness or frustration. They may be depressed, facing serious illness or have lost a loved one. Or they may have failed in a relationship or are experiencing financial pressure.

It's these very individuals we should target with a little light in the form of a kind word or deed to brighten their day and help bring healing as they fight off their own personal darkness. Simply a nice remark can make a big difference so they know they are valued as a person and have reason to smile again. Blessing them in this way can be huge and bring positive change to one's life.  

We as Christians should illuminate ourselves with a spiritual light so we stand out to others. If we're not vigilant and allow our light to burn out, we cannot help those who are hurting including witnessing to our faith. I'm guilty of this more than I care to admit when I get careless and let my guard down after getting caught up in my own struggles. 

I sometimes catch myself complaining, being negative, blaming others and being too judgmental. Even an expletive or two when I get really frustrated. It means I'm human and am an imperfect Christian with a lot of growing to do. But it's no excuse.

It takes courage to approach a person in need, let alone a stranger, and a real skill to express yourself successfully and convincingly. But it's our duty as Christians to boldly shine the light of our salvation so that others are uplifted and have hope. It reminds me of when I ran for public office and greeted people by the hundreds. During my initial campaign, I couldn't bear the thought of knocking on a complete stranger's door. But I forced myself and found I could achieve reasonable success if I put my mind to it. 

I found a list while browsing the Net entitled "101 random acts of kindness," some of which I attempt to do, intended to make someone feel good about themselves. My favorites include being quick to apologize, forgiving, writing a thank you note to a friend, smiling at people you pass, holding open a door, allowing someone to move ahead of you, and complimenting someone for no reason just to be nice.

Other favorites are waving hello to a stranger, being sincere when making eye contact with others, saying "please," "thank you" and "you're welcome" all day, being happy for someone else's achievements (unlike too many of Juneau's politicians who are envious when a colleague succeeds as they compete for the public eye), genuinely complimenting others, and being on time when you promise to show up somewhere.  

I wish to add a few of my own including praying for a person, giving them a hug or firm handshake, and reminding them of their positive attributes such as compassion, kindness, courage or strength - and backing it up with sincerity. 

Jesus was the brightest light the world has seen with mankind in serious darkness until his arrival. I can only hope that any light I shine is but a tiny glitter in comparison and makes even a small difference in someone's life.