Having an “Epiphany” about being a Light for a New Year

I just read a friend’s blog and she used the word, light and it made me think of what I have done and what I could be doing.

June Maffin wrote:-

Where there is darkness … we must bring the light
Where there is darkness … we must send the light.
Where there is darkness … we must *be* the light.

When I go to visit someone who is grieving, I try to lighten her sorrow by thinking of ways I can give comfort. I bring thoughtful words or just hug the person who grieves. A letter to a sick friend is one way to send a light into a life from a distance, Flowers can also help to reveal our love and care for someone. In each case, we chose to be a light in that darkness, just as God used a star to guide the magi on a long journey to His Son Jesus. I love that story because stars have guided sailors for hundreds of years, they have fascinated both astronomers as well as all of us. They have given us hope in the darkness.

Epiphany is also special because it marks both the showing of Jesus to non-Jews, to us, Gentiles and it’s very meaning can be interpreted as an “Aha moment” when we see that we’ve got it. We see the light! We know that’s the truth and that is the way to do it or to ‘be’ the light for others.

In my 13 days in Uganda, I saw my friend Hope Nankunda ‘be a light’ for poor girls and for mothers living in poverty. Her whole face lights up when she helps people in need. She delights in offering free gifts of Afri-pads to girls to keep them regularly in school so they don’t have to miss classes once a month. She is happy to offer encouragement to young mothers on the edge of poverty and counsels girls who have problems to solve. Because she involved me in her work, asking me to offer encouragement too, I was able to feel that I could be a comforting light to mothers and stimulate young girls with my own stories. Being there was an ‘epiphany’ and I am determined to find ways to support Hope’s work by giving talks in the area where I live so that people learn about the need for an education and perhaps feel the desire to help financially.

We have several women at our Church who make woven bed-mats to go to Haiti and other parts of the world as well as to the homeless in our area. These women spend hours making mats and pillows out of colourful milk bags and they look lovely. I have no talent for doing that but I do know now what I can do. God gifts us in different ways. I love to teach.

I’d like to help young mothers with little ones who need a break once a week. Today, our rector the Rev. Jon said we have to reach out beyond our church to the community. I have been feeling that way for some time. As he spoke, I felt the ideas bubbling up inside me. I had worked with mothers almost 30 years ago and it worked out well. I hope to welcome mothers with toddlers into our church hall again. We can do exercises with mums and tots first, some singing games with the little ones, and then, for a while, mothers could hear an interesting talk just for them while their children are watched downstairs. We can try this for just 6 weeks in the winter and maybe, get new ideas for what to do later on. I was a teacher and taught JK and K children for some of my career; I love music and I have friends who would come and talk to the moms. Through our church, my helpful friends and I could try to be a “bright light” for some families. It is also an opportunity to serve others in Jesus name.

2 Comments on “Having an “Epiphany” about being a Light for a New Year

  1. Dear Jane, Thank you so much for the love and for sharing my work in Uganda with the bigger audience. We continue to pray for God’s favor so that we touch as many lives of girls in year as possible. Education is the best gift a child can ever receive, and its not fair that a girl misses or drops out of school because of menstruation. Iam hopeful that we shall get more kind hearted people to support this work we are doing for the less advantaged girls and teenage mothers.

    Blessings and love
    Hope Nankunda

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