Matthew 5:14 – You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 4:6 – For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. (NLT)
A loud disagreement transpiring between a mother and her young son grabbed my attention as I hustled across the parking lot. On second glance, it was clear that this child had special needs, and his mother's patience had been stretched beyond its limits. Before bolting into the grocery store, she sternly gave him the instruction to "stay put". At eight years of age, the boy was certainly old enough to wait on his own, but I wondered if he were capable of following her instructions. I decided to keep an eye on this special young fellow from a distance while running my errands.
Each time I ventured out of a store my eyes would rapidly scan the sidewalks searching for him; he was never in the same place twice. Sometimes, he'd pester strangers with questions, and they'd shoo him away, leaving him to blindly negotiate the chaotic parking lot traffic. Soon, he became anxious and went from store to store shouting for his mother. She abruptly emerged and yanked him to Tim Hortons for a drink. Relieved that he was content and safe, I went about my business. While stopping for a coffee, I was surprised to find the young boy sitting alone sipping his drink. He followed me outside, eagerly trotting alongside me like a pup at heels. The sharing of his keen observations revealed that he had also been watching me that morning. "Are you mad at me?" he asked. "When I see you, your face looks angry." And with those words, God convicted my heart. As we walked together towards his harried mother, I tried to take back the burden my unintentional frown had placed on him.
My face was sending the wrong message. When filtered through the eyes of that dear child, I wasn't seen as a loving light or a source of peace in his turbulent day. Though my heart was caring, my face had sabotaged its intentions. We are God's ambassadors here on earth. We are called to stand out and reflect God's light and love into this dark world. As an old children's song reminds us, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, to shine for Him each day. Wearing a cheerful countenance is one way we can shine for Jesus — a message delivered through the concerned words of an innocent child.
Prayer: Precious Lord, we thank You for the gentle ways You convict and guide our hearts. May we continually cast our cares on You so that our faces shine brightly with the light of Your love. Amen.