You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl...” (Matthew 5:14-15)
Yesterday a woman came to my house to purchase a crib that my son is no longer using. She pulled up, and I ran out to the garage, opened the door, and greeted her with a smile and an immediate showing of the crib. I wanted to make sure I didn’t waste her time. I wanted to make sure she knew I was not a fraud, so I tried to be professional and transparent about all things crib.
So, I began spewing out all the info about it. She didn’t seem to care about the details. She wanted it. I thought to myself, “She likes the crib, she doesn’t care, but I’m glad I am being overly informative.” I gave myself a mental high five.
Just as we were loading the last piece in her car, my husband Stephen asked her, “Is there anything we can pray about for you?” She immediately broke down with tears and a gratefulness so overwhelming that she couldn’t speak for almost a full minute. That’s a long time when you think about it.
She then quietly uttered, “Are you serious?” Her face looked as if she was seeing light at the end of a long, narrow, dark tunnel. She then tearfully filled us in on all of the brokenness and turmoil in her life right now. She was at rock bottom and didn’t know what to do.
I was so busy trying to be a woman of integrity by filling the woman in on the ins and outs of the crib that I didn't recognize she was hurting. Her mind was occupied with the heavy, burdensome cares in her life. When Stephen came over and asked if she needed prayer, it was then that I was reminded I’m a Christ-follower. But I had pushed aside my spiritual discernment for my carnal desire to have a good reputation.
We cannot be effective; we cannot be light if we put ourselves under a bowl. I put myself under a bowl of self-centeredness yesterday and I almost missed an opportunity to pray for someone who was hurting. If it weren’t for my husband paying attention and asking her if she needed prayer, I would have missed it completely. Who knows what would have happened to her. Isn’t it my responsibility to love others as I love myself? How can I do that with my eyes and ears closed?
Again I say, we cannot be light if we put ourselves under a bowl.
Our light gets snuffed out by the bowl of “selfishness,” the bowl of “pride,” the bowl of “complacency” or “laziness,” the bowl of “success,” the bowl of “procrastination,” the bowl of “sexual appetite,” the bowl of “financial gain” and “prosperity,” the bowl of “that's not my business,” “pleasing others,” “getting ahead,” and so on and so on.
It’s so important for us to pay attention because, in the midst of life and all its daily happenings, we are the lights people should be drawn to. We are the lights that transfer the revelation from God to those who need it.
When we aren’t tuned in, we miss something. They miss something. I almost let her go, without an inkling that she needed something I had. And it wasn’t just a crib, but to hear that God hears her cries, that He loves her and wants her, that He needs her to let go of everything and give it all to Him.
Kesha Bullard Lewis
Editor’s Note: Kesha Bullard Lewis and her husband Stephen are media missionaries known as I Am Peculiar People. They have a delightful 2-year-old son named Samuel who joins them in traveling the nation and abroad bringing God's word to the masses with boldness and humor.