‘Light of the World, Shine on Me!’

Vivian Hogue
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Song title recorded by England Dan and John Ford Coley, 1979.

Here we are in October, normally a yearly occurrence in which we look for more comfortable weather and breathtaking leaf color. We will likely have those; however, we may still deal with a thing in the universe called a virus. We have them every year, thus the advisement to get flu shots. As living on this earth would have it, we can’t escape all things considered unsafe or unhealthy. Fortunately, a great number of us have avoided the current flu entirely, or contracted it and recovered with a bonus of a protective antibody. In reality, I have more fear for the safety and well-being of our country’s foundation than of a passing virus.

For their “well-being,” small children want hugs, furry or feathered pets, entertainment, activity, comfort, independence, but dependence! They want to know about God, nature, and why people have to follow rules. They want to have a nightlight, and see the sun come up on Christmas morning. Watch the light in their eyes when they learn something new! Actually, most of these, with some additions through living life, match the wants of every age. Apply them to yourself and see! What we are needing most right now is some light so we can see what was, is and can be. It’s so gloomy in here!  

Media advertisements have a new pitch to convey their caring for the possible customer. Where they once shouted and gestured with unbounded exuberance, it is now more somber. By the time they are through, we’re reminded of our cheerless circumstances. In fact, they have run out of adjectives. Now, it is “during these ‘difficult’ (troubling, challenging, uncertain, stressful, hard, trying, or disturbing) times.” 

Light. What we need is light. Haley Robson, director of lighting for a Little Rock engineering firm, says, “Light is fascinating. It can kill germs! Ultraviolet light is harmful to our skin, but it kills germs. They are making LED lights now that are close enough to the UV spectrum that they kill germs, but are within the ‘Safe Spectrum’ that won’t hurt our skin or eyes. It is great to see that built into light fixtures used in healthcare.

“Light regulates our circadian rhythm, or wake/sleep cycle. Having exposure to daylight actually triggers our brains to release serotonin in waking hours, then melatonin at night depending on the wave length for the time of day.  If our sleep cycle is out of sync with nature, it can cause immune system issues, affecting our health and well-being. There is a Bible scripture stating that ‘God is Light.’ (I John: 1:5) What we’ve learned about light takes that scripture to a whole new level of understanding.”

All humans look forward to the things that make us happy through the five senses—seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. If we have the opportunity to experience them, we have a feeling of well-being temporarily or permanently. To others, such as prisoners of war, those with limiting physical or mental afflictions and even some isolated while quarantined, there is a lack of the benefits of well-being for their minds and bodies.  

For those of us who are able, we can help ourselves look in the right direction to improve our outlooks. We can ignore violent, gory, depressing and depraved movies, books and games. We can look for friends with healthy attitudes. We can take our minds off ourselves and give our attention to someone who needs it. We can put together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle or start a family tree which is at the very least a 1000-person puzzle!

One very well-known quote from a world-renowned yearly best-selling book is, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

That would have been the apostle Paul, who stated and promoted those thoughts in Philippians 4:8. For someone who was hated and feared through his earlier despicable career as Saul, he found his literally blinding, attitude-changing light on the road to Damascus. 

The word “light” appears 272 times in the King James version of that bestseller. It would seem, then, that those references are provided to all of us to help find and travel down our own roads to Damascus during these “troubling,” (etc., etc.,) times.