“To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
This gem from my daily devotional made me think about the prayers I’ve been praying for peace in Baltimore. (I dug these notes up from beginning of May.) That there might be peace. And there might be great understanding.
I’m considering the verse even as I sit on this plane from Frankfurt and realize how having a child opens me up to having conversations with many more people. Lord, may you use me to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death. May you guide our feet on the path of peace – together as strangers reach out to each other. As mothers share a moment of sympathy, or talk about birthing in our respective countries. Meet us here, Lord. Shine into our darkness. Guide us to the path of peace.
The French father with his son, who is no longer with the son’s mother. The Jordanian mother with 3 children who is immigrating to the United States. Her daughter who loved playing with Cedar and kept offering her food – bananas, chips, orange juice. her youngest son who could not handle sitting still. Her oldest son who asked to take a photo of her and asked her name. I watched him type the info into his little tablet. When I told him, “Like the tree. You know the Cedars of Lebanon,” he smiled HUGE. Is that in the Quran? I should look. Guide us in paths of peace.
As we reach for you, let each of us seek to shine your light into the darkness.
The man who offered to carry my bag up the stairs. The security gentleman in Frankfurt who insisted I cut through a long line.
The Asian woman who lives in Portland and reminisced about when her own son was Cedar’s age and traveled across the ocean to visit home with him.
I’m amazed in my traveling that when you open yourself to people – through your posture, smile, conversation, and general demeanor – that they open themselves to you if they’re willing.
There’s the business guy on my left from Chicago to Cleveland whose body language makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with his seat mate. Poor chap! I brought a baby and we’re breastfeeding! Rough night for him, all hunkered down in his chair. But across the aisle is another man who couldn’t STOP talking about his granddaughter who was the same age and on and on.
As we reach for you, may we shine your light into the darkness.
The darkness of loneliness. The darkness of a broken relationship. Of too much work and not enough family time. The darkness of hatred and jealousy. Fear that tears people apart and neglect that damages deeply. The darkness of our own selves, lurking in our shadows and condemning us to same-ness forever. The darkness of losing ourselves and being separate from the One Who is Light.
May you shine in our darkness and illuminate the other one, so we are cheered and have companions for this journey. Whether it’s helping each other with bags up the stairs, or smiling or sharing a lifetime of stories. Let there be light.