So I believe this direction is to keep paying attention. If we can turn from our fears and frustrations to notice others, we can pray for them. If we notice we are consistently drifting to negative and sorrow thoughts, we can choose to pray for those we love instead. If we feel useless we can chose to thank God that we were created for a purpose no matter where we are.
Victor Frankel wrote in Man's Search for Meaning about life in the concentration camps of Europe during World War II. An educated and successful family man with a hope-giving profession and place in his community was wrenched from his family never to see them again, sent to survive and observe the death camps in painful detail then liberated in very fragile health. But as much as he remembered the relentless inhumanity, the moments of shining humanity remained most powerful for him. If folks in such a dark and hopeless place could shine small moments of light even when it could mean their own death, then I think that must have taken a certain amount of focus to even notice the opportunity for kindness.
So today, as Holiday Stress swirling around memories of happier times are made bitter sweet by the sorrows of current challenges; as advertising of all sorts would have us believe that only over spending brings happiness; as store clerks, postal employees and waitresses struggle to smile while being ignored or berated; as those dealing with depression struggle even more than usual; as folks in prisons and jails think of families and friends afar with a mix of longing and chagrin, Christmas can get lost in the holiday. But we can be a small moment of light. We can smile and thank folks for jobs well done. We can stick to our budgets and remember time is a gift of infinite value. We can take a simple meal to someone too overwhelmed to cook. We can write notes of encouragement and thanks. And we can always, always pray for each person as we go through our day.
Always be ready to let your Little Light Shine.
* Ephesians 6:10-18