Shining your light

“In the same way your light must shine before people so that they will see the good things you do, and praise your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

Little acts of love or service are what can open the door, as Jesus said, to helping others “praise your Father in heaven.” What I love best about this way of sharing the Good News of the gospel is that it bears this truth: Most people do not care what you say unless they first know that you care. If we really want to participate in the Kingdom of Heaven, we should continually watch for opportunities to do “the little things.”

Laying up treasure in Heaven
Unfortunately, our culture gets it backward: They think that you have to be some kind of polished speaker with a seminary degree to effectively communicate the gospel. But that’s just the opposite of what Jesus said! All of us can share our faith with little acts of love. I have been on the receiving end of these, and that’s why I’m motivated to “pay it forward.” I’ve been through enough hardship, and out the other side, that I have confidence that God has been moving me forward through life and now I am thrilled to be able to lay up treasure in Heaven by loving others as He has first loved me.

Where do our souls reside?
My vocation puts me in touch with dying patients and their families at their point of need and opens the door to the gospel. I praise God for this! But I don’t think the specific place where each one of us happens to work matters—each of us has the ability to “shine our light” through acts of caring if we are only aware of who God is putting in our paths. Quite frankly, it’s either that or keeping the door closed with our selfishness.

I’ve come to believe that whether or not I love, or how I chose to love is entirely dependent on where my soul resides. And my guess is that the same is true for you.

Turn around
It really doesn’t take much effort—just a little turning of the head. Instead of looking at me, myself and I, I can literally, physically, look around and invariably see a blue sky, a cloudscape, a tree to climb with my grandson, a roof over my head—and celebrate even the simple fact that I don’t have to climb ladders on my replacement knees anymore since my job has changed! This change in perspective alters me and makes me, in turn, turn from my own self-centeredness. And often it is in that turning around that my eyes are freshly opened to others—someone who is down and out, someone who needs a smile, or a friend or co-worker who needs my ear.

When I choose to love them, I am privileged to be part of bringing the Kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven. And that’s when my life can really shine.


John Reimers
Friend of Q Place