Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Happy late Valentine’s Day, friends! Did anyone else go to Publix over the weekend and wonder how on earth they were going to sell all of those roses and helium balloons? People are hungry for every chance to celebrate love, and so today we are going to take a moment to celebrate your collective, lively, love-lit sparkle.
In Jesus, God showed us what the light of the world looks like in a single, time-and-space-bound human life. Jesus shone God-light in very human ways—in his work and in his rest, in his feasting and in his fasting, in his tears and in his tenderness. And as we follow him, our small human realities become spaces where the light of God can dance across the stage of our own stories. Our work, rest, relationships, and rhythms can sparkle.
God crafted you to be a beautiful human container of God-light who sparkles in the world in a unique way. We are all meant to live our own ordinary lives so that the world sees light sparkling in the dark sky of painful human reality…so that the world can notice all the pinpoints of light, alive with the light of love, and recognize the handiwork of a loving Creator.
There are two interesting scripture passages that talk about people, shining like stars.
In Daniel 12, there is an apocalyptic vision, complete with a lot of symbols and obscure messages. But in the middle of the chapter, we read this straightforward verse: “Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever.” It is not a complicated image, nor is it an obscure message. The messenger is painting a clear picture for Daniel of the collective, sparkling witness of human lives lived in the light of God.
People who walk in the light of God live wisely and well, help others to see life, and sparkle with an eternal brilliance alongside one another.
In Philippians 2, Paul offers almost the opposite of an apocalyptic vision. He shares a heartfelt, earnest plea with the Philippians to “keep at it” by faithfully tending to the here and now. He encourages them to look to Jesus and to look to him and to hold on, so that their community can be deeply formed and bear witness to Jesus. He says, “Therefore, my loved ones, just as you always obey me, not just when I am present but now even more while I am away, carry out your own salvation with fear and trembling. God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out his good purposes. Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life. This will allow me to say on the day of Christ that I haven’t run for nothing or worked for nothing. But even if I am poured out like a drink offering upon the altar of service for your faith, I am glad. I’m glad with all of you. You should be glad about this in the same way. Be glad with me!”
People who sparkle with the light of God are those who hold on to life--who rely on God’s power, honor others with their speech, and function joyfully in community.
From both scriptures, we see that being a human shining with God-sparkle is a humble thing. It means tending our words, seeking wisdom, living well, being open to God’s presence, cheering each other on, and holding to what is real. On the other hand, though, these scriptures offer a beautiful vision of the shimmering, mysterious, sparkling beauty that lights up the darkness when God’s people live as lights alongside one another.
It is easy to get discouraged. It is easy to feel that our meager attempts to follow God wholeheartedly in a fractured world don’t add any light at all. While our souls may feel dim right now, these scriptures remind us to let the Spirit fan our flame and remind us of our sparkle.
When we look up and see the stars, shining through a canopy of darkness, we remember that we shine as part of a universe of stars, collectively offering wonder and hope to the world.
You are a light today, friend. May you be encouraged in the small ways of life and may your heart shimmer with delight as it illuminates your corner of the universe…as you dance your light-dance among a multitude of shining stars.
Some Light Prompts for You
Recall the wonder of the night sky—remember a time when you could really see the stars. What did that vision do for your soul?
Or, talk to God about your light. Where do you feel particularly dim? Who are you glad to shine alongside right now? Are there ways that the light of Jesus speaks to your journey and the ways you want to carry the light of God in the world?
Spend time giving thanks for other “stars” who have lit the sky for you on dark days. Who has shined God’s light in your life? Maybe send a text or write a note to one of those people.
Savor Psalm 8 in The Message. Allow it to speak to you and tell you more about God-light.
God, brilliant Lord,
yours is a household name.
Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
toddlers shout the songs
That drown out enemy talk,
and silence atheist babble.
I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods,
bright with Eden’s dawn light.
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,
repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
Made us stewards of sheep and cattle,
even animals out in the wild,
Birds flying and fish swimming,
whales singing in the ocean deeps.
God, brilliant Lord,
your name echoes around the world.
The Kaleid Team