The Light Within
The view outside my living room window was pretty – golden trees reflected in shimmering still water, a rippling line left now and then by the resident muskrat or slow-moving duck. The picture, though always changing, has become quite ordinary to me, but as I watched on this particular day, the morning light moved steadily across the pond and began to light the tall poplar trees as they waved golden leaves in the breeze. The light, that seemed to somehow come from within, turned the ordinary scene into a glorious show of colour.
I couldn’t help but think of a dear friend and brother in Christ, who had just passed away in a tragic accident. I remembered the day my husband led him to Christ, at an evening Bible study. They were down on their knees in a small apartment, surrounded by people he didn’t know, yet his desire to know God gave him courage to say, yes, he wanted to ask Jesus to be part of his life, right then and right there. The change in our friend Bruce became immediately obvious. He went from being an “okay guy” who was a little rough around the edges, to being one remarkable by his constant smile and eagerness to help anyone in need. That’s what he was doing on the day he died.
Like those trees outside my window, Bruce went from ordinary to extraordinary because the light of Christ had entered his life, making his witness glow from the inside out. During the days after his death, as the news spread, we constantly heard stories of how Bruce’s smile had brightened the day, or his helping hands had made a significant difference in someone’s life. He became a living example of the scripture that says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
Bruce was not a rich man. He didn’t leave a lot behind, but he left a sure and wonderful legacy – the desire instilled in us all to be like him. Like Jesus himself, Bruce’s humility and genuine love for others left us pondering how we too might act in the same way. His sudden absence has left a hole in our lives but we know it will be filled again when, one day, we will see Bruce in all his glory, standing with the other saints beside his Saviour.
Bruce was a gift to us, to our church, to our community. His is a story that I am pleased to tell, as a writer of faith. I am encouraged that there are many more lives that glow from the inside out, lives whose stories are testaments of unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. I am blessed that I have been tasked to tell them, be they the stuff of real life, or the elements of fiction.
As a long-ago writer, Frederick M. Lehman, said in the old song, The Love of God –
“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceans dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.”