The Wanderer. Experiencing our Heavenly Father, Part 9

Shining the Light

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 NKJV

There was room at the table, but I wondered whether or not I should sit. After all, I was a preacher.

My wife and I and a couple from church were out on the town. We had eaten at our favorite greasy-spoon restaurant and were now looking for something to do. As we rode through downtown, we noticed one of the local car clubs was having a show with live music.

We pulled into the parking place and noticed a friend sitting at the table with a couple. The young lady had recently birthed a premature baby who was on our prayer list at church. She and her boyfriend were enjoying a drink, as were all the others who sat at tables near them. We wanted to introduce ourselves and socialize, but I knew what some in the church might think if they saw me sitting there.

The thought of what Jesus might do entered my mind. He didn't hang around with the church folks too much. An action that led them to accuse Him of socializing with the scum of the earth. They probably would have classified those at the tables as such. Jesus countered their accusations by telling them He hadn't come for the well, but for the sick. The sick of spirit, the sick of emotion.

I decided I'd risk offending some church folks to please Jesus. The young man at the table asked how I knew our mutual friend. I told him I was her pastor. He didn't appear shocked or say "I'm sorry" and discard his beer or cigarettes. But we enjoyed a pleasant conversation, told them were praying for their child, and invited them to church.

When we left to stroll through the car show, I felt a sense of peace-not guilt. I had done exactly as Jesus would have done. We had let our lights shine. We didn't beat them over the head with the Bible or religious platitudes, but we did bring the love of Christ to the table in a non-threatening manner.

Jesus doesn't want our lights to shine with pride-as the religious elite of His day did. He merely wants us to take Him into every situation we encounter. When we do, others will experience His love through our presence, our love, and our words.

Don't hide your light. Let it shine.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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