A friend recently told me. Darkness does not live where there is light. Darkness hides from the bright, from the light. It has no place there.
A couple of years ago a few moms and I started an organization called KIDS WHO CARE, giving our kiddos opportunity to engage their compassion and empower their world at a young age.
As we talked to our kids about going to serve the homeless for our next service opportunity, my son was a little nervous. He has been downtown before and has had no problem hanging out with those who didn't have a home and lived on the streets, but he’s a processor and he remembers one of the guys talking about how at night, he hears gun shots all around him. Holden brought this up last night, A MONTH later.
He said, "mom, I am afraid of the bad guys.”
I said, “what bad guys?"
He said, "The ones they said come at night, in the dark."
I didn’t really know what to say, my nature is to say, "suck it up bud, we do uncomfortable and scary things, that’s what we are made to do. That’s what God calls us too. or Umm...you can't be scared, you need to be an example, mama is organizing this thing, I need you to be a leader."
(isn't that what we do, put this un-needed pressure on our kids to make us look like good parents.)
But I also wanted to listen and respect his feelings.
I asked my friend Cathryn, who runs a non-profit for the homeless, for advice.
She said, "tell him that it is very hard for darkness to come out in the light. The bad people like to sneak out when no one is looking, but when the sun is shining bright, they don’t want to be out, they hide."
The darkness cannot tolerate the light.
I thought how true that is. Even in the Bible it talks about this. John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
When we bring forth light, the darkness has no place. I want to be a light giver, I want to teach my kids to shut out the darkness by literally letting their light shine it out. Everyday when Holden gets out of my car for school since pre-school, I have said, “let your light shine,” and it means more to me now than ever.
What would our world look like with an entire generation of little light givers? Would darkness be able to even exist because they shine so bright?
Sometimes we just need to see others. My perspective has changed over the last 10 years. I think in my gut I thought people were a certain way for a reason, I pre-judged, I had my own solutions to fix things. But after being in relationship and standing in other's shoes and on their turf, I see things a lot differently and my heart has burst wide open. We will only ever know our own experiences, thats why it has been so imperative for me to get in other's lives who have an entire different life and perspective.
When we were downtown last year, we were honored to meet this little, happy, ball of energy. Her parent were on the streets.
"We played "I see you."
And I do.
I see you.
I see your smile and the sparkle in your eye, your love of all, and your willingness to let us care for you. You saw us too. You saw us as friends to play with, and laps to climb up on to be held. There was no hesitation.
We may look different, where we sleep may look different, our worries and stresses might look different, but we belong to each other.
You and me.
Me and you.
No difference is too big.
We are for each other.
I am for you little one."