When the world’s all but gone mad and the heartbreak is more than I can bear. When my boy’s come to me with wide round eyes asking why our good God could allow such terrible things to happen in our world. When the road to recovery looks impossible and unfathomable and so very long…
These are the words I want my children to hear.
This is the truth I pray they will find at the end of their questions, and the hope they will carry with them throughout their days. Light still shines – even on the darkest days, in the darkest places – and the Light still shines in them.
In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5 NIV
Be the Light
We live in a big, bright, beautiful world.
But sometimes bad things happen.
People hurt one another.
And our big, bright, beautiful world
can start to feel a bit cold, and black, and confusing.
Even to grownups.
In those moments, when it’s difficult to remember how big, and bright, and beautiful our world can be, we need to train our eyes to look a little longer—a little harder—to find the light that always shines.
Even on the coldest, blackest, most confusing days we still have Jesus.
We’ll always have Jesus.
His light never grows cold, or dark, or gets confused,
and His light is so close—so constant—it shines right inside of us.
So we can be kind, and brave, and generous, and strong.
So we can see kindness, and bravery, and generosity, and strength in others.
Because it’s there.
Even on the cold, black, confusing days the light that shines is always there.
Even when it seems like everything and everyone is lost for darkness,
we must remember that all it takes is one light.
One light to push the darkness back.
One light to shine for truth, and hope, and love.
One light to reveal that God’s power is still at work inside of us.
One light to remind the world that He still sees, and hears, and knows the things that break our heart.
Because they break His too.
So be that light, in big ways and small ways.
Look for that light in others.
Call light out from dark places, in dark places, for dark places,
and watch how big, and bright, and beautiful our world again becomes.
Because of light.
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12, NIV
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16, NIV
A Note to Parents
Our world is becoming an increasingly dark place. It’s impossible to turn on the television or browse the internet without being inundated with stories of inequality and injustice, disaster and violence. The frequency with which we experience crisis as a national and global community has increased at an alarming rate. We barely have a chance to recover from one tragedy before we experience another, and another, and another.
As a boy, Fred Rogers was encouraged by his mother to look for the helpers when faced with crisis, because where we find helpers, we find hope. Whether tragedy strikes across the ocean or close to home, when I think about walking my own children through crisis, I want them to not only look for helpers.
I want them to look for light.
In his gospel, John refers to Jesus as being the light of all mankind, shining brightly in the darkness of our world (John 1:4-5). Regardless of what evil may come, the light of Christ will always shine. We are promised the darkness can never—will never—overcome Him.
As Christian parents we have the unique opportunity to walk our children through these heartbreaking moments with honesty, integrity, and hope. When we help them find light in dark places, we help them discover the supernatural peace of God, His presence at work in the brokenness of our world, and His presence at work within us.
Light always shines brightest in the dark, and we are called to be the light.
Need some more help? Visit my post How to Process Local or Global Tragedy with Your Kids for more thoughts on how to process difficult current events with your kids