Your words and actions release light in a dark world.
Your words and actions release light in a dark world. (Tomas Jasovsky)

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I really did think he would cry when I said, "Lowe's. I want to go to Lowe's for my birthday."

He had himself all set to endure someplace like Dress Barn for our annual shopping date. But I had my heart set on new bedside lamps for our bedroom, so to Lowe's we went.

Light is the theme of the season. A kind friend gave Matt a generous gift card to a sports store for Christmas. He came home with a tactical flashlight, which I have been tempted to hide. Have you seen tactical flashlights?

1100 lumens.

You don't know, do you? You just cannot possibly know how bright 1100 lumens is.

"Look out the window," he hollers from upstairs. I look out to see our entire backyard lit up from the upstairs bathroom window.

"Honey, our neighbors are going to call the police," I say.

Can we get back to my lovely new lighting in the bedroom? Two gooseneck lamps with ivory shades and soft-light, 60-watt bulbs. Don't tell my dad, but I've been turning those on in the evening, even when we're not in the room. If we do go upstairs for some reason –oh, so nice.

Warm light.

"I think this is my mom's secret to a cozy house," I told Matt. "She has soft lighting all over the place." Lamps on timers. Flameless candles that she turns on at sundown with a remote control. Everywhere, a soft glow.

Peaceful. Cozy. Inviting.

It just makes sense, then, that Jesus says to his followers, "You are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14).

Now lighting ranges from 60 gentle watts all the way to 1100 blinding, what-was-he-thinking lumens. I suppose the world needs both at one time or another.

But since I'm a girl and this is my blog, I say what the world needs most often is a steady, soft lighting that makes people feel good inside and want to sit down under the lamp and read a book while sipping a favorite beverage. That kind of light.

And surely you have enough Jesus in you to bring 60 watts to your little area of the world. You don't have to go all tactical on your people to bring something good to their souls.

You could just smile and say, "Are you OK? How can I pray for you today?" You could give a hug even or leave an encouraging sticky note on a person's desk. Because ambient lighting can transform a place and send rays into weary hearts.

Christy Fitzwater is the author of A Study of Psalm 25: Seven Actions to Take When Life Gets Hard. She is a blogger, pastor's wife and mom of two teenagers and resides in Montana. Visit christyfitzwater.com for more information about her ministry.

Christy Fitzwater is an author and pastor's wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the author of Blameless: Living A Life Free from Guilt And Shame and My Father's Hands: 52 Reasons to Trust God with Your Heart. Find her devotional writing at christyfitzwater.com.

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