As a photographer, I’m always looking for light. Light as it glows through fall leaves or peeks through a slatted fence. Light that reflects off a pond or window. The contrast of light and shadow.
As a minister, I’m always looking for light. Light that streams into a hospice room. Light that passes between people who care for each other. Light that emanates from goodness.
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [from Colossians 1]
The inheritance of the saints in light.
This past week I have thought much about those who have gone before us, from whom we have inherited wisdom and understanding, and the strength to act. Also, I’m continuing to “inherit” those things from people I see at work right now. Past and present saints leave a heritage of light.
- Desert Mothers and Fathers who had deep faith in the future;
- Communities and individuals who struggled from within the institution of slavery;
- Oppressed peoples from every time and place who refused to give up;
- An African-American acquaintance I encountered today who told me he worries we’re entering a new era of racial oppression not unlike that of the civil rights days, but who still believes we’ll come out stronger on the other side;
- A young teenaged friend who, with her classmates, plans to work for a brighter future;
- A transgender young man who speaks out about their experiences in order to help others have courage or understand;
- Every person I see who is at work for justice, kindness, mercy, and peace.
I saw a news story today about a community of people who inspire me by their actions. You can see it here. Natasha Nkhama, a black female student at Baylor University was harassed by a white male who shoved her and called her the N-word. Some of her friends shared the story, and a Twitter conversation ensued. Two days after the incident, nearly three hundred students, faculty, and staff showed up to escort her to class, expressing solidarity and an intolerance of racial bullying.
That was a story I needed to see—not the first part, but the last part. One thing people of faith instinctively understand is that where there is darkness, there is always light.
When others inspire us, we reach out and catch the light they are sending our way, and we repurpose it for our own setting, conveying it to others.
Let light be the inheritance you receive, and the legacy you leave behind.
© 2016, Melissa Bane Sevier