This Little Light of Mine

Dear Ella,

This week has been a hard, tiring week.  Not because Mama planned a big event for lots of our friends and family and not because it's felt like we're eggs frying in a pan.

Sometimes we're tired and sleepy in our bodies, and sometimes our hearts get tired too.  This week, my heart feels tired.  So tired that I don't know what to do or say.  It's so tired because I don't know if I have any more fight left in me.

So many things have happened this week that make me feel like not just my world, but YOUR world is going dark and hopeless. I heard a very nice woman who called herself a Christian talk about people of another race as though they were just vermin to shoo away, even though they were simply enjoying the coolness of the beach like anyone else.  I heard someone else say that a vile, ugly word is okay to say just because someone else says it.  I heard people make a joke poking fun of someone's name, just because it was hard to say.  I saw someone write that another person's life doesn't matter so much, just because they are different.

It doesn't matter what the different is, because whatever quality is the one that makes them different, whether it's the size of their nose or the colour of their skin or the number of chromosomes they have, that one is what makes them unique.  You don't know what unique means yet, but I'll tell you:  it means one of a kind.  God made each of us completely different, except for one thing: the inside.

Our outsides are all different shapes and sizes and colours, but our insides are where we look like God.  And precious baby, although some people would say that the only thing you know of God is the picture of a bearded man in a storybook, I know better, because that bearded man said so himself.

YOU are the one that reaches out to grab the knees of a stranger when you stumble.

YOU are the one who looks at someone the world has forgotten and runs toward them.

YOU are the one who takes the wrinkled hand offered in loneliness and grasps it tightly.

YOU are the one who hears the voice of a different tongue and laughs with joy at the sound of it.

YOU are the one who sees a woman covered up for who she is, rather than who she represents.

YOU are the one who delights in creation and appreciates every tiny leaf and bug and bird in the sky.

You, little one, have more of God than I could wish for.

How many others were born like you, and had that light quenched and snuffed out?  How many deft hands have twisted together darkness and light for their own selfish gain?  How many have assumed that the right way is simply the way things have always been?  How many have confused "good gifts" with "things I deserve"?

I know you can still tell the difference, even though you can't speak.  I know that there is a light in you that has to be taught to burn brightly or else it will simply go out.  So, even if I'm bone-tired and heart-weary, I can still teach you.  Even if there are millions of people who won't ever listen, who have grown too cynical or comfortable to see the truth, I know you haven't.  Maybe all I can teach you today is a little song, but it is an important one, not about the outside, but about the inside:

This little light of mine/I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine/Let it shine/Let it shine

Hide it under a bushel, No!/ I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine/Let it shine/Let it shine

Won't let Satan blow it out/I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine/Let it shine/Let it shine


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