Be a light in darkness. Always be a light.
Difficult times in the family? In society? In religion?
It's what God asks you to do: just hold up a light.
It's His Light.
Darkness is the realm of the devil.
Did you ever wonder at how little light it takes, coming through a curtain or from a night-light, to allow you to navigate in a house that's otherwise totally dark?
It doesn't take much -- just a glimmer, just a sliver.
But what is light? How does it manifest? And: how do we generate it?
Light is what is positive while darkness is what is negative -- the absence of light.
What is light is attractive. Note this with people: we naturally gravitate to those who are positive, uplifting, who see the best side of life -- even in trials -- instead of lamenting over their woes, sufferings, and shortfalls, wanting everyone to suffer for them. Even from the Cross, Christ spoke to the thief not of suffering but of paradise.
Saints were positive. Solanus Casey! It is what gave them their halos -- holy brightness.
Joy radiates, as it causes all of us to radiate -- while morbidity, feeling sorry for yourself, focusing on "me, me, me," is a black hole of emotions.
Don't hover over hurts. Don't flail yourself endlessly over mistakes. You can't feed your past and your destiny at the same time. Do you feed discouragement and past injuries -- memories?
If you do, you are pumping fuel in a car that moves backwards.
Let go of what did not work out.
For once you are in a negative trend, it's hard to pull out of that loop, to stop that broken record.
This happens especially when we talk -- when we chatter about the negativity of others.
It fades quickly, does this "fix," this feeling of superiority, and then we are left only with the vacancy of that darkness (gossip).
Correction is one thing. That's done with positive emotion.
Criticism is another.
How many do you know are harsh and critical (read: self-righteous) even in matters that are supposed to be spiritual? Why do so many of the self-righteous end up in scandal?
This turns people off. So does whininess.
Ask this: How often does anger or whining or criticality or debate cause change that is good? How often does resentment have a positive fruit? How many people are "argued" into Heaven?
"Now, it's normal to have a bad day or just be in a bad mood from time to time," says one on-line counselor. "But if you do it a lot or pretty much all the time, if you spend most of your time in that headspace then simply put, people will probably not just be bored. They will start to avoid hanging out/talking to you."
We should cast out evil, not simply point it out -- and not hover over faults.
It's what Jesus did.
He didn't ignore evil -- but it wasn't His entire focus.
Negativity drains you. Instead of sunlight, you become a cloud. Let go; lighten up. (It's summertime!)
The more we pray, the more that we will learn to help, instead of critique -- instead of scrutinize.
It can be as simple as a smile and something nice said into the eyes of another.
Pray for folks and thinking positively of them comes easier.
It's what we are called to do.
Just hold up a light. That's all. It's simple. Just hold up the Light. However small, just be a lamp, a nightlight, in the darkness.
Linda woke up with a start.
She had another dream but couldn’t put her finger on it.
If she didn’t catch it immediately, it would be gone.
She struggled, heard someone in the living room, called out. “Steve?”
“Yeah,” he said after what seemed like an eternity. “Did I wake you?”
“No. A dream did. I don’t know what it was about. What time did you get back?”
“Casale said it was nothing serious.”
“Right,” said Renford, standing at the door, exhausted, backlit by a distant lamp. “Go back to sleep.”
Linda glanced at the clock. Almost five. “If it wasn’t serious why were you out there so long.”
“For a Code Six.”
Linda sat up in bed. “Well what happened?” she asked admonishingly.
“There were pranksters making a racket in the woods, and then some vandalism at a farm at the far side of the TNT.”
“Near the burial mound?”
“It had nothing to do with that,” said Renford sharply. He began to undress.
“Well what happened at the farm?” she insisted.
“They killed a couple cows.”
“Cows? They killed a couple cows? Who killed a couple of cows? Kids don’t kill cows.”
Renford feigned nonchalance, growing irritated. “I don’t know. And a goat. They killed a goat. That’s the whole story.”
This struck Linda as strange. A farm. In her prayer group a friend named Louise had once gotten a “word of knowledge” that you’ll know the danger when the cock crows. Her mind was moving quickly. “Was it one of those cattle mutilations?” asked Linda.
“Like out west. For years they’ve reported it in places like Colorado.”
“I don’t know,” said Steve.
“Well, were any organs or eyes removed?”
It took Steve aback. “I guess you’d describe it that way.”
“Someone took some body parts and also the blood.”
Renford reverted to silence, threading his legs into pajamas. “Don’t read too much into it,” he said, now feigning sleepiness.
“Too much into cows that were slain for no reason?” Linda shot back at him. She mulled it over. “I could feel it in my spirit,” she finally said, “and I prayed the whole time you were gone, until I passed out.”
“You always pray.”
“Spirits roam, you know. They roam or wander and they may be ‘earthbound.’ They get trapped here. They may have an attachment to someone or something – or to a burial area. It’s a portal. The TNT is a power center. You can feel it. It would attract cultists.”
Renford mentioned nothing about the scare on Thatcher and the gooseflesh that had erupted on the back of his neck. “I’ve never felt it,” he said, before realizing the fib – or trying to convince himself.
“I told you, the more you pray, the more you feel things. You cleanse inside, you feel things outside. Otherwise, you have a tin ear.”
She was turning it into a sermon. He prayed too, although there were times when he mixed up the end of the Hail Mary with the Lord’s Prayer.
Linda wouldn’t let it go. “You were in danger,” she said. “You were in danger and I think the whole town is in danger.”
“That’s right,” said Linda, now demure. “There are spirit forces, Steve, and they’re all around this place. It’s a vortex, and the center is the TNT.”
“Spirits can manifest any way they like,” she went on. “There are thousands of forms they take. They can appear as lights, as globules, as creatures. They can infect people. They can come in the physical or in dreams. I sense danger. I really do.”