Yesterday on my evening walk I was standing at the top of a high bluff that overlooks the forest below when I noticed the white fluffy seeds of the cottonwood tree blowing through the air. It was almost like gently falling snow except that the light seemed to catch each fluffy seed and make it shine like a little ball of light. There were hundreds of them gently blowing through the trees and it was truly beautiful.
But it wasn’t just these seeds, the whole forest seemed to be full of light. And I was reminded of part of a poem by Mary Oliver that I had just read a few days before called “When I Am Among the Trees.”
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
Jesus tells us to shine too:
“You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden.And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16(New Century Version)
When we let ourselves be filled with the light of Jesus we can truly shine. I can imagine each of us like those light filled seed pods floating through the air – filling the world with beauty and joy. And watching those seed pods reminds me that when we shine we aren’t alone, but others are there beside us shining too. And when we are all filled with light the world can become a more beautiful place as we all work together doing good and sharing our light with others.
It’s simple – go easy, be filled with light, shine!