Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine

A couple of weeks ago the friend of a young family member was killed in a tragic car crash. This young man had not yet graduated high school. He leaves behind a family, friends even strangers who are devastated and crushed by the magnitude of facing life without him. I did not ever have the pleasure of meeting Tyler but last night I spent some time with the mother of our young cousin hearing stories and looking at pictures of him. I shed tears over his death even though I never knew him. I could not sleep last night thinking about how wrong it was that he was taken from so many people who loved and needed him. I couldn’t help but think about my own kids and how off centered the world would become if they were taken from me.

I was reminded in the wee hours of the morning after my friend Wendy died being told, “The Greater the Love, the Greater the Pain.” How true.

Tyler clearly had a light that shined brighter than perhaps what anyone really knew. I know Wendy did. When people we love are taken from our physical lives we suddenly notice this gaping hole that we took for granted was always filled. Enter guilt. But I am suddenly thinking, maybe that is the way God intends for it to be. We live our lives loving, laughing, enjoying time with our friends and family, not living every moment worrying this may be the last time we see them, hug them or hear the words “I love you.” It is a place of trust and innocence that I think God wants us to relish in.

Yet, when we lose someone we love we are more aware of their light and their impact on the world around them. I am proud to have Wendy as my friend. I am proud of the way she is remembered and the way I KNOW FOR SURE lives have been changed in looking back over hers. I hope that even through their tears and grief Tyler’s parents are able to take pride in their sons light. It is still shining. The lives of the young kids who loved him will be altered. They will ultimately be inspired to live a life wanting to have a light just like their friend. And maybe it will make parents, family and friends more aware of the lights already around them and check the dimmer switch on their own.

The life we are living now is a light deposit. The more you give, love, laugh, inspire, the brighter your light and the longer it will shine after you are gone. I am inspired to life hard, give and love the world around me every day. I cannot control when my time on this earth will end. But I can control the memories and love I will leave behind and I plan to leave a bright, bright light.

Check your switch today. Make sure your little light is shining.

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