Going to let that light shineūüé∂

I was on the 10th floor of the Embassy Suites when the power went out in the entire hotel. Actually, it went out over a several-block radius. All you could see through the windows were the spiraling lights of emergency and utility vehicles.

I stepped out of the room, and that’s when I heard it.

Going to let my light shine, let it shine, let it shine. 

The hotel was packed with women attending a Christian women’s conference. They stood on all levels, from floor one to floor eleven, hanging over bannisters. Checking out the darkness. Someone started singing. Others picked it up.

The words rang out in the darkness.

Going to let my light shine, let it shine, let it shine. 

It was stunning. It took my breath away. You see, that’s been my heart cry lately.

When I was younger, my faith wasn’t always understood, yet it was seen as something good.¬†That’s changed.¬†Faith — this amazing, beautiful, sacrificial gift of Christ that completely changes us — is viewed negatively. Sometimes that’s because we mess it up, but it’s also because of the darkness.

The darker it gets, the harder it is to see.

Maybe that one was hurt by religion. Perhaps the other doesn’t want anyone telling her what to do, or how to live. To another, faith is confusing, because it gets tangled in things that don’t resemble Jesus.

Whatever the reason, when faith is seen as negative, we may be tempted to shut down our light.

Oh, sis, that’s exactly when it’s needed most. Not in our own power, because we are barely a flicker when we try to do it on our own, but when we put those lights together, it cuts through the darkness.

In this summer of permission, my desire is to live my faith like Jesus did, but not alone. Never alone. Side by side with other women, just like you.

He loved.

Jesus loved tangibly. He loved those that others overlooked. He touched and prayed and ate dinner with people who had chosen anything but his love.

He believed.

Jesus didn’t worry about what anybody else was doing. He didn’t try to appease a crowd.¬†He believed his time was short. He knew that he was on a mission (Luke 4:18-19).¬†He believed enough to live his beliefs in every part of his life.

When he showed up — whether it was with the religious, the spiritually hungry, or the sinner — they couldn’t deny what they saw in him.

Though he loved people fiercely, his first love was always his Father.

He ministered.

Some days Jesus prayed until the sun went down. He sat on the hillside and taught his disciples. He stood in a fishing boat and taught the crowd from the shore.

Ministry is simply partnering with Jesus to love people tangibly. To pray when you see a need. It isn’t showy. It doesn’t require a ministry platform or a title. You just do it, as God shows you the need in front of you. He’s not asking you to fix the world. That’s a God-sized job. He’s just asking you to join in.

Permission to say yes to the invitation

Listening to that child’s song ringing out acapella stirred that desire that’s been burning in me for nearly four years now.¬†I hear his invitation one more time. Not just for me, but for women all over the world.

Come with me. Wherever I lead, whatever I ask of you, whatever miracle I want to do in you or through you. 

Let that light shine. Someone starts it. Another joins in. Someone else picks up the tune, and before we know it there’s a movement that splits the darkness.

Lord, I say yes to that invitation. Let my faith affect the way I treat people and the way I treat myself (because I am yours). May my faith impact the way I give and the weight I place on things that have little eternal value. And Lord, I know it’s a child’s song, but I come to you with a heart to follow you.

Please let that light shine, let it shine, let it shine through me.


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