Bring Them to the Light

” . . . bring them out to the light.”

“You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord’s people, you are in the light. So you must live like people who belong to the light,  for it is the light that brings a rich harvest of every kind of goodness, righteousness, and truth.  Try to learn what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light.”

(Ephesians 5:8-11)

Last week my eyes (and the rest of me) turned 62.  I remember in days of old, my mother handing me a needle and thread and saying, “Would you please thread this for me.  I just can’t see it.”  I also remember times when my father and I would be working on our model train layout and Dad would say to me, “Son, can you get this train back on the track.  I just can’t see those tiny wheels.”  He and I had a layout similar to my current one pictured in the photo above.  If you notice the left side of the photo you’ll see that the size of the trains get smaller and smaller as they go up to the very top of the mountain.  The “Z”gauge train that runs around the top is less than an inch tall with wheels that are very, very tiny.  Well, the truth is, I’ve reached my parents’ “would you” moment.  I’m having great difficulty getting those tiny train wheels back on the track.  However, I’ve made an important discovery.  If I shine bright light on the situation, most times I can see well enough to accomplish the task!

Light reveals so much, everything from tiny details and designs, to dirt and decay.  Ever go in a store or restaurant and feel like the dim lighting was hiding the disrepair the owners would rather you not see?  If something is bad enough to warrant lowering the lights in effort to disguise it, why not raise the lights, analyze the problems, and fix them?

Sometimes we hide in the dark because we’re seduced into believing it’s easier than facing change.  Sometimes we hide because we think we don’t have the resources for change.  Sometimes we hide because we’ve tried to change before and couldn’t do it — our way.  Sometimes we hide because we’re afraid if others really see us in the light, they won’t like what they see – and run.  Maybe Lent can be the time when we simply take the first step – to turn up the lights.  Maybe Lent can be the time when we risk allowing God to lovingly shine a flashlight into the deepest, darkest corners of our lives where we hide our worst thoughts, our worst beliefs, our most shameful behaviors, and our darkest regrets.  I think too often we’re afraid to shine the light because we don’t know how to “fix” what we’re afraid we’ll find, or we’re convinced whatever we find can’t be “fixed.”  Why shine the light if it’s a forgone conclusion that nothing can or will change?

Lent is an invitation to take things one step at a time.  Lent is an invitation to allow God’s light of healing and hope to shine into those deepest, darkest corners of our lives, revealing all the stuff we think we’ve kept hidden from ourselves and others.  Lent is the time for first steps.  Let God’s light shine, and wait for God’s love revealed in Christ to lead you through the next steps toward healing and hope.  I pray that God will always help me to take this first step, and allow God to lead me the rest of the way along the journey of healing and hope.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,

Pastor Gary

Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”


~ by revgenelson on March 22, 2017.

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