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We celebrated a baptism at my church this morning- a second-grade boy.  He was so sweet- excited and nervous at the same time, and he was positively beaming.  He was a perfect illustration of  "his face was lit up with joy."

The readings and Father's homily were about being a light in the darkness; about helping each other out in this world.  And that got me thinking about how we REALLY can be a light for others...

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Pushing back the darkness--being a light to help others on their way is something that all of us can do.

The way I see it, we are all here on this earth dealing with many of the same trials and tribulations --it's happening all around us.  It makes no sense to go through it alone.  We help each other in so many different ways.  Sometimes being a light is helping your neighbor with yard work that she can no longer do on her own... sometimes it simply being there to listen to her.  Big help---small help... size does not necessarily matter here--all are ways of being light for one another.  We can help each other keep the load from getting too heavy-- be enough light to keep the dark from taking over.

Darkness will come--it always does.  But we humans have been coming together for a very long time to help push it back.  Let us not forget that we can continue to do this--to help one another... to combine our lights.

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
Susan Cooper (from the poem, "The Shortest Day")

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Love is not consolation. It is light.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Yes, love indeed is light from heaven; A spark of that immortal fire with angels shared, by Allah given to lift from earth our low desire.
Lord Byron

I've always thought that people need to feel good about themselves and I see my role as offering support to them, to provide some light along the way.
Leo Buscaglia


Originally posted to brothers and sisters at dailykos on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 04:58 PM PST.

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