This article is part of a larger series on The Peace Prayer of St. Francis. You can read other entries here:
I have this friend who is extremely active. Every day she’s clocking in a good hour or two on her Apple Watch as she hops from spin class to body pump to 10k runs. I’ve traveled with this woman, and while the rest of us are sleepily stepping out of the hotel elevator desperate for coffee and breakfast, she’s bouncing in after an early morning run around the city.
Whenever I am with her I feel energized by her passion. She makes me want to lace up my own running shoes and get going! And it’s not because she tells me that I should. Her lifestyle is just contagious. You catch a bit of her energy just by being with her. It’s like she reminds me of what I could be. Not in a self-defeated sort of way, but in an uplifting one. She inspires me to be more than I am, she makes it look desirable, and possible.
She reminds me of the fact that as we tend to our own fires we are able to light up another person’s life. It makes me wonder if I am living a life so entwined with Christ that it encourages others to desire the same for themselves.
As I pray the line in the Peace Prayer “Where there is darkness, let me sow light”, I am really asking Christ to be more alive and bright in me.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “If you want to get warm, you must stand near the fire. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to the thing that has them.” To sow light, I must have some light to give. It is because my energizer bunny friend has done the hard work of being active in her own life, day after day, that she has influenced me. And because she has done this hard work, I have been able to light my candle at her flame.
Can I say the same for myself? Is there a real fire burning in me, however small, fuelled by the love of Christ and the desire to know him more? Am I actively fanning this flame by seeking him, drawing close to him?
Where there is darkness, let me sow light.
This prayer for me is a reminder to tend to my own fire. To do the hard work of surrender, to slow down enough for times of prayer and contemplation, giving God the space to do what only he can do in me. As my heart becomes more and more like his, I will become like the burning bush aflame with God that made Moses stop and take off his shoes. The light of Christ alive and revealed through me.
A church of burning bushes lit up with Christ is like the city described in Revelation 21:23,
The city does not need the sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. – Rev 21:23 (NIV)
As I seek my heavenly Father, it will become only natural to sow light into darkness for he IS light. How does a bush aflame with God do anything but shine? My job is to get out of the way. To rely on him to do the work through me, to trust in his slow and gentle way of drawing people to himself.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in Dying that we are
born to eternal life.