How To Be Light In The Darkness In The Midst Of Terror

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With our world gone crazier than ever, I’m praying so hard to be spiritually mature enough to pray for God’s direction for believers to be light in the darkness instead of sharing my opinions over social media.  I’m not gonna lie, it’s been hard to see friends picking sides – which results in more pain and division.  Instead of adding my own little Wifey opinion, I’m trying to spread a little light in the darkness every chance I get ....

Light in the Darkness

I’ve been writing a lot, but what I haven’t shared yet is the God-ordained encounter I had with a man in the grocery store a couple of days ago.

Light in the Darkness in the organics aisle

I was about to leave the Kroger after going through it quickly – on a mission to save money and then share with you.  God interrupted me in the midst of “my” plans, however.  I felt a strong urging to circle back around the aisle just one more time. “What else do I need? I’ve reached my budget here,” I thought to myself.  
That’s when I saw him – and his hat.
An older, black gentleman rounded the corner looking a little frustrated but sporting a pristine Vietnam War cap. Since I’ve made it my mission to not just thank gentlemen like this for their service but also LISTEN if they want to share about it, my heart skipped a beat.
I opened my mouth and muttered a weak greeting. An overwhelming air of shyness came over me and I was tempted to move on for fear of looking silly. I fought the urge and dug my heels in, so to speak.  
He was telling me about a particular kind of cookie he was looking for that a friend had requested. As I helped him find what he was looking for I said, “I’m noticing your Vietnam hat.” Then I shut my mouth and let him talk.
Y’all. This precious man told me in just a few moments heart-wrenching experiences that most of us will never know. Then he told me how he’d been in a submarine with his comrades for 44 days straight (that alone made me shudder), and how only he and one other man survived out of the thirty that were with them.  I stood with my mouth gaped open a little, then told him I was sorry.

I found myself saying, “God had a plan for you – to be here – even now.” He smiled and said he wasn’t quite sure why.  Then he thought for a moment and looked at me square in the eyes and said, “YES, yes, I guess you’re right!”  I saw the gratitude in his eyes for my interest.  I hope he felt appreciated at that moment.  I hope he remembers that God loves him and I do too.

I wish I’d thought to ask him if I could take his photo – maybe he would have liked that, but I was so awestruck by the intimate words he’d just shared that I didn’t think of it.  We parted ways, after one little conversation, but I’ll never forget that look in his eyes.  I won’t soon forget the face of a true servant that gave no regard to his own life to stand up for the safety of strangers.

Thank you, sir.  You are part of what’s right in this world and I thank you for it.

All we have to do is get our eyes off of ourselves to see the good there still is in this world.  We’ll see them – people of all colors, shapes, and sizes who are serving or have served the public on a daily basis with no regard for themselves.  The servants and the ordinary folk making a difference every day.

Yes, we’ve got some major problems to solve in order to bring unity.  I am hopeful because there are many positive stories and acts of pure humility and love all around us.  The key is choosing to SEE them and then sharing that light with others.  I’m going to continue looking for the light in the darkness.  I’m going to go out of my way to find the good in this world and share it with others in person and online.

How to be Light in the darkness!!

Will you?

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Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

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  1. Michelle
    July 16, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Beautiful story and great point! Part of what I got from your story is bringing out the spark in others by seeing Jesus, His servitude, in them. You’re right, even though there are a lot of forces at work trying to divide us, we can still personally work towards unification. Thank you for an inspiring start to my day!

  2. Mary Stephens
    July 16, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Hi. I came here from the Grace & Truth link up. 🙂
    I was just thinking about this poem last night and then I read this post and thought I should pass it on. This is not the entire poem and may be altered, but:

    His Lamps

    God’s lamps we are,
    To shine where He shall say:
    And lamps are not for sunny rooms,
    Nor for the light of day;
    But for the dark places of the earth,
    Where shame and wrong and crime have birth,
    Or for the murky twilight grey,
    Where wandering sheep have gone astray,
    Or where the Lamp of Faith grows dim,
    And souls are groping after Him.
    And as sometimes a flame we find,
    Clear-shining through the night,
    So dark we do not see the lamp
    But only see the Light,
    So may we shine, God’s love the flame,
    That men may glorify His Name.

    Annie Johnson Flint

  3. Monica at Life Out Of Bounds
    July 17, 2016 / 2:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. The mainstream media only focuses on the bad and negative, so that is what most people see. It is important to share all the good that humans can do, because that is actually the majority of people, except that the light side is ignored in the frenzy of power and control. Keep sharing. Every little bit counts.

    • Shan
      July 17, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      Monica! Your words are soothing to my soul. Thank you for your encouragement!


  4. Jennifer
    July 18, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    I appreciate hearing about your encounter, and even more, I appreciate your commitment to highlight stories like this one. Thank you for being an example of one who was obedient to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, and who chose to be salt and light through your words to this man. I’m glad you shared this with us at Grace & Truth!

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  6. Trena
    July 21, 2016 / 12:40 am

    Beautiful story! Thanks for sharing.
    Visiting from #CoolMomLinkUp.

  7. Matilda
    July 21, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    We could all use some Jesus in our lives, especially now during times of such darkness in our world and in our hearts. I enjoyed reading this and feel hope knowing that there is still light out in our world living in people like you. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Carol
    August 5, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    Amen. We need to be about shining light in the darkness. I am encouraged by your story. I am learning to focus my time in prayer for our country instead of talking politics. We need wisdom from God!

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