"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light." - Luke 33:11
When I took my twin five-year old nieces down to the beach on Thanksgiving, I intended for all of us to just dip our toes into the water. I had been anxiously awaiting their arrival from Indiana all day, and I couldn't wait to show them how close we were to the ocean.
But as the gentle remnants of waves washed over our feet, we began to coax each other a little further out. Holding hands, we inched in until the water splashed our shins. The girls rolled their leggings up to their knees, careful not to get their clothes wet. But the crash of the waves in front of us proved too tempting, and soon we were soaked. I turned around to my sister-in-law and mouthed an apology.
I treasure time with my nieces especially for these moments that feel like bringing my light out of a hidden place. Much of adulthood can seem like weaving a bushel basket around my lamp, tempering its dazzling radiance to a more respectable glow. Trading laser light show for luminary.
At the beach I remembered again how it feels to let it shine. I turned that light-hiding bucket over and used it to collect the prettiest shells or get a closer look at the crabs we discovered secreted beneath the sand. And I came home beaming.
Sacred Brilliance, unweave my basket. Remove the impediments of coolness and respectability, self-seriousness, and let me shine like a child.
Vince Amlin is co-pastor of Bethany UCC, Chicago, and co-planter of Gilead Church Chicago, forming now.