Monday, November 30, 2009

Never Doubt in the Dark What You Know in the Light

Last night at One Church, we had a really special time of connecting with Jesus. There were different stations set up around the sanctuary designed to help you reflect, worship, and connect. It was just what I needed after a particularly, um, exciting day at Metro Kidz. A day which may or may not have included a 17-year old boy, quite literally, flipping out and requiring physical restraint. Leaving me alone to corral/control 29 other youth who were excited (to say the least) about the prospect of a grand fight/flip out. Whew, I'm tired just remembering it. (Remind me to help out in Metro KIDZ and not youth next time. I can handle getting hit in the gut by a 5 year old. A 15 year old? Not so much.)

Ok, clearly I got a little side-tracked there. What I wanted to tell you about was something that God showed me last night during our worship time. Because it reminded me of something Adam and I had been talking about with some of our kiddos earlier this week, and usually when God hits me over the head multiple times with the same lesson, I finally start to get it.

From our pastor last night:
One of the reasons we light candles is so that we can see in the dark. Darkness hides what is real and gives power to the things we cannot see. It enslaves us to our fears. It allows us to hide and keep ourselves from being really seen for who we are. One of the first things said about Jesus in the book of John is that he is the Light of the world. He gives light to those in darkness and helps us to see what is true. He casts out our fear. Some of the people we love are still living in the darkness of their fears, shame, hopelessness, and rebellion. They need to know Jesus so they can be free to live in the light of His love. They need to be rescued from darkness and led to freedom. 

The unfortunate truth about the inner-city is that, in many ways, it remains cloaked in darkness. So often it seems that Satan wins the battle for the city as darkness, fear, shame, hopelessness, and rebellion run rampant throughout the culture and communities we work in. Not to say that everyone is evil, or the city itself is hopeless or bad; but there are far too few people shining light into the dark places. And that's why drugs, gangs, violence, abuse, sexual exploitation etc continues to be a daily part of a decidedly DARK life for most of the kids we work with.

Just the other day, I was talking to a little boy who lives downtown, and I asked if he liked his new apartment. He shrugged, so I prodded him a little and asked what it's like where he lives. He looked at me with his sweet little face and big sad brown eyes and just said one word: mean. My heart broke for this precious child of God being forced to live in darkness when He has light and freedom to offer all of his children.

When we were dropping this same little boy off at his apartment later that evening, Adam got out of the car to let him in and Zack (who was the only other kid left in the car) looked at me and said "oh un-uh, I'm not staying out here - it's too scary and dark!" (I agreed and we all walked the little boy in together.) My point (and I DO have one for once) is that bad stuff happens in the dark. Adam and I were talking on our drive home about how often the difference between the worst neighborhoods downtown and the ones that are ok is simply the lighting. Those apartment complexes that are well-lit are much less likely to have shady characters hiding out, and carrying out who-knows-what.

But Christ is LIGHT and in Him is NO darkness at all. And that's why He has called us to be a "light on a hill." People who shine Light and Truth into the darkest, meanest, scariest places. People who are willing to remember that those things we know to be true in the light are also true in the dark.

When I'm at home in my warm bed, it's easy for me to understand and believe that God is GOOD and that He will provide for me and protect me. But when I'm standing downtown in the midst of the darkness, that Truth is not so easy to remember and believe. . . But it's STILL TRUE.

I challenge you today to think about those people you know who are living in darkness, in fear, covered in lies and shame (and who knows, maybe it's you - I know I've been there before!). Pray for that person today, and do what you can to shine the LIGHT of Christ's Truth!


"Even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.
" -Psalm 139:12


"He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him."  -Daniel 2:22


"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." John 1:5


"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "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


"You are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark" -Romans 2:19


"You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness." -1 Thes 5:5


15 comments:

  1. Oh, Becca. This was a good word. Thanks!

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  3. i know exactly what you mean, and you gave the word just right. amen!

    Megan

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  4. WOW, this was so powerful, Becca!!!!!

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  5. Girl! I am SOOO very excited to meet you!! CPQ was telling me about you b/c I don't know any other bloggers in the Atlanta area plus she was telling me a little about your ministry...

    I admit I skipped right through to the comments b/c I was so excited to see who you were but I am going back to read, I promise! ;)

    I look forward to hanging out here on your blog and getting to know you a bit more!!

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  6. LOVE this post. I struggle with fear on many different levels (fear of the future and then also fear of stuff in the dark HA!) Anyways, I will never forget a lady at church once told me if I am scared inthe dark to flip on the light, that in a literal and also spiritual sense the light forces out the darkness. There are so many levels to that but I just love it!

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  7. The title alone is poetic. And then you go on to inspire with your insightful words.

    Even never having met you in person, I'm 100% positive that those inner-city kids can see His light shining, right through you and Adam.

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  8. Wow, this is just awesome! And EXACTLY what my link-up is all about! I LOVED reading this! Keep shining so brightly for Him!

    Lovely to meet you, Becca!

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  9. So I clicked on the button to follow you and realized I'm already a follower!! : ) Small world!

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing this. And I *heart* your tooshies photo, too, I really do!

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  11. Girl, you've touched a tender place in my heart. (I told you I'd come back and read) ;)

    This is just so lovely and truth upon truth...and the thing is, I, myself, need to be reminded when Satan tries to make me fearful in those places I must constantly commit to the beauty, LIGHT and truth of Christ.

    I can't tell you how excited I am that you are in Atlanta.

    OH, and my hubby is Adam, too! :)

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  12. Thanks Becca. This was a wonderful post. Thanks for shedding light to our city!

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  13. Becca! SO encouraging!! So powerful to know that we can carry this Light, thie TRUTH with us no matter where we go..thanks girl!

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  14. I am so glad we have this light. This wonderful light. I love God! And I love that you so boldly share his story!

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