In all of the coverage of the Aurora, Colorado shootings, I was most impressed by one of the surviving shooting victims. He was being interviewed from his hospital bed. He described how a bullet had gone through his arm and shattered his humorous bone. Fortunately, that shattered bone probably saved his life; otherwise the bullet would have gone into his chest.
The interviewer asked him about the shooter and the why of it all. The young man simply stated that there is evil in the world and that he sensed a real darkness when the shooter came near him. He also said, though, that he wasn’t personally angry at the shooter. When asked how that could be, he simply replied that he knows there is a light greater than the darkness and the darkness will be overcome by the light.
I don’t know for certain, but it sounds like this young man is a believer in God, perhaps even a Christian. We, too, know there is darkness in this world. We know sometimes we even prefer the darkness. But we also know that the darkness cannot extinguish the light.
In Isaiah 9 we read: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined. … For a child has been born for us, a son given to us.” That child of course is Jesus Christ who said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Of course Jesus also calls us to be the light. In The Message version of the Bible it says, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. … Shine!” Light illuminates. Light attracts. Light dispels the darkness.
In the old children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine,” we sing: “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!” Another verse says, “Won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m going to let it shine!” We could change that to “won’t let darkness put it out” and we would have the same meaning, wouldn’t we? Jesus calls us to let his light shine through us even in the midst of darkness so that the darkness will be dispelled and the light will not be overcome.
Let’s all let our light shine! Especially when it seems darkest.