May 2, 2011

On Spreading Light

Deuth,-Dave-colorBy David W. Deuth, CFSP
President, Weerts Funeral Home

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton (1862-1937),

That we would more often allow ourselves to be one or the other. Candle or mirror.

Most often, it seems, neither requires much time nor costs much money.

Life presents countless opportunities for each of us to be a candle. Drawing upon our own unique gifts, abilities, circumstances and personalities, many are ably equipped to not only supply light to others around them, but also to provide the fuel required to sustain it. I’ve long believed that any person can make any occupation a ministry to others, if only they choose to do so.

With the proper mindset and perspective, one can nearly effortlessly provide light in someone else’s day: Hold the door open for a stranger. Invite someone else to go ahead of you at the checkout line. Start a positive conversation with someone seated next to you on the bus or on the airplane. Simple, kind words and deeds may be just the spark that someone else needs to light their own candle…which may, in turn, be all that they need to bring light to someone else.

No, shining our light seldom requires much money or time.

And, of course, we all have days when we just need to absorb the light shining from others in order to energize our own selves. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with that! But even this presents an opportunity, as Ms. Wharton reminds us, to spread the effectiveness of someone else’s light by simply acting as the mirror that reflects the light to others.

When people are in a season of loss in their lives, they need plenty of light. Neighbors, friends and co-workers can all be important sources of light and encouragement for someone trying to learn how to live “a new normal” following the death of someone they love. And that light, however simple it may seem to shine, may be all that someone else needs to brighten their day.

The little song that many of us learned as kids somehow seems a meaningful reminder at any age:

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…”

When someone brightens your day, thank them for it. If you can’t provide your own candlelight today, perhaps you can be the mirror that reflects someone else’s. Either way, you’ll make a positive difference.

Go light your world!

Remember Well.