The past few Wednesdays in Ignite, Jake has been doing a Q&A with our middle school students. The last question this past Wednesday, although previously written, was a very timely question “Why does God allow murder?”. We (Jake, Nancy and myself) as a panel collectively answered in short with “God has given us free will” meaning we always have a choice to make good or bad…
The students then brought up resent events such as the very recent Boston Bombing; the movie theater shooting; various school shootings and the everyday violence we hear on our local news.
“Why do things like this happen?” … “Why didn’t someone stop them” … “Why didn’t they reach out to anyone?”
These questions made me think of the quote I have on my bedroom wall:“Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.”
― Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
With sharing this quote we were able throw out some challenges not only to the students but also ourselves.
“How many times have you past by someone in the halls that you knew was having a bad day and didn’t show them a friendly face?”
“How many times did you give in to your friends and make fun of someone?”
“How many opportunities to brighten someones day have you missed?”
So what about this Light? Psalms 119.105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”John 8.12 … “He said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
These two scriptures are just a few of the references identifying Jesus, the Bible and Christians as a light source. So you would think that if we have Gods word and it is a lamp that lights our path and we have made the decision to follow after God so we have the light of life with us… PEOPLE would see this light and be drawn to it… like a moth. But how often do we allow the people we’re around or the situation we’re in to dim our light, when we should be shining our light in the situation or on the people we are with to brighten their day or move the conversation/situation into a more positive one.
Jake used this to challenge our students while they are still in school to be a light to their friends and even their enemies. To not miss an opportunity to brighten someones day. But I think even us as adults can use a reminder of this too.