Matthew 5: 14-16 tells us You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
One week ago, today I was introduced to Amanda Gorman. I am sure many of you were as well. She made history at the inauguration as the youngest inaugural poet. You can read her entire poem here.
She was the absolute highlight of the entire day for me and there were many special moments but, she stands head and shoulders above every other moment. I was struck by her bright yellow outfit, which for me only magnified her already bright spirit.
From the moment she started speaking it reminded me of times in my youth ministry journey when I was around a teen who simply exuded the light of Christ in all their actions. I felt a sense of pride as a youth minister as I watched this poised young woman speaking.
Many of the lines of her poem sounded so spiritual to me. One of my favorite lines that jumped right out as she was speaking was “If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy”. Wow, I was blown away at the depth of this line. Yes, how beautiful for love to be each of our legacy.
In a talk I heard years ago by Matthew Kelly he shares a long list of all the things that life is not about. The final line says “Life is about love. It’s about whom you love and whom you hurt. Life’s about how you love yourself and how you hurt yourself. Life’s about how you love and hurt the people close to you. Life is about how you love and hurt the people who just cross your path for a moment. Life is about love.”
The final lines she spoke on inauguration day were simply perfect. She closed with this “When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” I was standing in my family room by this time feeling transported to the audience and inspired. After she said there is always light if only, we’re brave enough to be it I immediately thought of the gospel of Matthew and that we are all called to be the light of the world. I am so thankful to Amanda Gorman for reminding me of one of my favorite songs as a little girl “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”
I challenge us this week to think of ways to let our lights shine to others.