Embracing the Light: A Reflection on the Power of Connection
Tonight, my community in our exploration of scripture, we delved into the profound message that Jesus is the Word, and that Word is the light. We contemplated the significance of this concept and how it relates to the darkness that often surrounds tragic life situations. This led me to ponder the symbolic nature of a knock on the door and the transformative power of human connection.
The Symbolism of the Knock on the Door:
For years, our home has been a haven for individuals in need. The knock on the door has represented the arrival of those seeking a few dollars, a drink of water, or some food. However, more than material assistance, it became clear that these individuals simply yearned for acknowledgment, a reminder that they were alive. Recently, we experienced the loss of Laverne — an older black woman who, like Mama before her, had become an integral part of our extended family. In her passing I realize the importance of the words I wish I would have spoken more clearly when I had the opportunity, “her life mattered, she mattered, and she will be remembered”
The Transformation of Strangers into Family:
To the casual observer, Laverne and Mama might have been dismissed as vagrants or nuisances. Yet, in truth, they had become cherished members of our community much like family. Despite the inconvenience that sometimes accompanied their visits, we knew that on the other side of that door was someone we deeply cared for. They were our friends, individuals who had experienced immense hardship and possessed stories that could move mountains.
Bearing Witness to a Lifetime of Struggles:
Throughout their years living on the streets of Tampa, Laverne, Mama, and countless others, they witnessed the ebb and flow of life. They saw many people come and go, leaving the imprints of change and impermanence. Amidst this transience, we took pride in being a consistent presence in their lives for the past decade. Lionel, Nathan, Maria, and others have also sought our friendship and support, and they too have become part of our family.
Illuminating the Darkness:
When these individuals returned to the darkness of night after leaving our home, they carried with them a glimmer of light in their hearts. They knew the warmth and love they experienced in our presence, even if only for a short while. It is in these moments that we realize our role as followers of Jesus, tasked with walking alongside those trapped in dark situations that we cannot wholly change. We may not have all the answers, but we can be a beacon of light that transcends mere platitudes or superficial friendships.
Answering the Call:
As we embrace the teachings of Jesus, our hearts are moved to answer the door when someone knocks. We recognize that this act is an opportunity to extend compassion, understanding, and genuine friendship to those in need. By doing so, we become agents of light, offering solace and hope to those who may feel lost in the shadows.
In contemplating the scripture that speaks of Jesus as the Word and the light, we discovered a profound truth: the darkness cannot extinguish the light. Similarly, the darkness in the lives of those we encounter cannot completely consume the light we offer through genuine connection and friendship. By embracing the knock on the door, we become beacons of hope, illuminating the path for those who need it most. Let us continue to follow the example of Jesus, answering the call to be a source of light, love, and understanding in the lives of those who come knocking.
May you answer the door the next time someone knocks…