Monday, October 6, 2008

Spreading the Light

Welcome to "In Other Words"

Thanks for joining me as I host IOW today. If you'd like to participate, please share your thoughts about today's quote on your blog site, then leave your URL in the Mr. Linky box at the end of this post.

You're also invited to visit the other participants' blogs and leave them an encouraging comment.


“There are two ways of spreading light;
to be the candle or the mirror
that reflects it.”
~Edith Wharton~

Several years ago I was being interviewed as a candidate to participate in a therapy group made up of women who were going through a time of healing from some traumatic life events. One of the questions the group's facilitator asked me was "what will you contribute to the group?"

It seemed like a strange question at the time, but I replied that I was a good listener and would give whatever I could to the group. After all, I was a Martha - a fixer. I could never be content to just sit and soak up the light and healing from everyone else.

At the time, I had no idea how intense the healing process could be. But as we met together week after week, sharing our stories, our hurts, our concerns, our failures and successes, I learned some valuable lessons about being Christ's light as well as how to absorb it into the darkest hidden places in my own heart:

1. A mirror is coated with silver or other reflective coating on the back. It cannot absorb the light shining on it - it can only reflect it back. Like that mirror, I was good at reflecting Christ's love back at others, but I had never allowed His light and love to penetrate into the deepest recesses of my life where the most hurtful memories lurked in the shadows.

It took all the candle power in that room to finally illuminate my hurts. Their words and actions became the candles that burned away my excuses, my denials and unproductive ways of coping with life so Christ could begin His healing work.

2. After I learned to open up to His light, I learned how to better reflect it back to others through the honest sharing of my heart. I found even when I was at my weakest, His strong light was able to shine through like a candle in a dark room. More than once, I was told that my courage in sharing what I never dared to share before had encouraged and strengthened one of the others in the shadowy places of their journey toward wholeness.

3.There were times when each of our hurts seemed so overwhelming there were no words adequate enough to bring comfort. Those were the times when we took turns mirroring Christ's love to each other- forming a supportive circle of light around the one whose hope and strength seemed to fail. A comforting hug, a listening ear, unconditional acceptance and love reflected His light during those deeply emotional times.

Whether we are the candles or the mirrors that reflect His light - we can only give to others what is inside of us. We have to guard our relationship with Christ so that His light glows in us. And when that light dims, we have to replenish it through prayer, His Word and the support of others around us. Now more than ever before, we need Him and each other in the darkness of the world around us. Lord help us to keep on spreading Your the light to those around us and to future generations.



Anonymous said...

Such wonderful, encouraging words. Thanks so much for sharing & hosting!

MiPa said...

Great post and an awesome quote this week. I'll be back with mine later (need to tweak and proofread but gotta teach the little ones first).

Betsy Markman said...

I, too, held myself aloof for many years. Even when willing to share "facts about myself," I didn't know how to share myself. The Lord has kindly begun breaking down walls and bringing true friends into my life, and I am so thankful when they shine His light into my world!

Thanks for sharing.

Patty Wysong said...

Bonnie, there's so much truth and wisdom in here--especially for those of us who tend to everything close and tucked away. You've given me much to chew, my friend, things I knew, but that sank in deeper this time around. Thank you.


Lynnette Kraft said...

What beautiful insight. Sometimes it takes more light to be able to see the deep hurts of others. Neat thought showing that sometimes it's the combined efforts of Christians that make the difference. Working as a team for the Kingdom!

I enjoy reading! Thanks.

Patricia Warren said...

Beautiful post! Your final paragraph is so full of truths I need to pull into my heart. Thank you, Bonnie.

Typing One-Handed

lori said...

Bonnie, the light of others can do amazing things and expose some things that we've kept hidden for long times.....

What a great quote to think on...your words were wonderfully encouraging..

Karen said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! Great reading today. Thanks Bonnie :)

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

I like that you bring out that we can only give to others what is inside of us. Oh, how true. We DO have to guard our relationship with HIM if we are to be his LIGHT.

I love the thought behind Wharton's quote. Great choice!

Happy IOW Tuesday!

Katherine Mikshenas said...

What a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing. Thanks for blessing my day. Many times we don't even realise hurt is still within us. God's love, love for ourselves, love to and from others are all gifts of healing. Through God's love comes miracles. Through God's love, we can love ourselves, others and begin to receive love from others. God bless you, Keep writing, you are such a blessing!
Kathy (Thanks for your comment on my blog. It made my day. PRAYERS, THOUGHTS, AND LOVE, KATHY

Ava Semerau said...

Thanks for bringing us a great quote this week!

What a wonderful way of explaining that resistance we all have sometimes - we're the mirror that can only reflect back not absorb. Thanks for sharing your story and this quote. AVA <><

Island Rider said...

Danielle led me to your post. I enjoyed reading yours and will come back again to see what God has laid on your heart to share with us.

Denise said...

Such wonderful words sweetie.

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Love the encouraging lift here!

Blessings all,


Laurie Ann said...

Bonnie, thanks for choosing such a great quote! I especially loved what you wrote, "Whether we are the candles or the mirrors that reflect His light - we can only give to others what is inside of us. We have to guard our relationship with Christ so that His light glows in us. And when that light dims, we have to replenish it through prayer,"

It made my heart sing!