The Bright Side: Shine through the darkness
Published 5:17 pm Sunday, March 26, 2023
In first grade, I auditioned for a singing role for our upcoming church service. I attended a Catholic school from kindergarten through senior year of high school, and as a student body we would participate in weekday church services. This particular audition was for a solo at the start of the mass, a section of “Christ, Be Our Light.” I was over the moon when my music teacher announced the four students who were chosen to sing, myself included.
The day of the mass, the sun was shining bright. It was early spring and the tulips out front of the church were already beginning to bloom. I stood on the alter, and waited for my solo as the first two students sang theirs. It was so bright in the church that the light streaming in through the stained glass made my eyes water, and I could barely make out any of the faces in the pews. So, I closed my eyes and sang my heart out. I have never had the best singing voice, but that day I could feel my voice carry far beyond the church walls. Looking back, it’s almost as if I felt Christ next to me, cheering me on, with a big smile on his face for the little girl with trembling hands that overcame stage fright and sung for him.
That moment came flashing back to me this past weekend as I worked alongside the Mountain Gypsies. Our mission is to bring the light of Christ, the light that comes directly from the throne of God to all who come see us. We use a sound therapy bed to help bring the most wonderful relaxation to all of our clients as God works through us to heal them from their emotional wounds, pain, heartbreak, illness, etc. It’s surreal, incredibly powerful and truly life-changing. So many people who got up from the bed had pure joy in their eyes as they talked of what they saw while being worked on. Multi-colored lights and memories, and all the while God was working to unbind them of fears and lies and guilt, so that they could walk forward carrying hope and a new outlook on life.
The song “Christ, Be Our Light” is about allowing Jesus Christ to heal our wounds, gift us with his sight, set us free from all darkness and the things that hold us back from walking on the path that leads towards everlasting life. It’s really powerful, because if we do allow that light to shine within us, darkness cannot consume us, or snuff it out. Because even the tiniest bit of light we let into a dark space will illuminate it enough so that we can see better, clearer.
We were in Pennsylvania, about twenty minutes from where I grew up, and it was cloudy and cold for most of our event. But earlier that morning, I woke to the sun rise outside the hotel window. Beautiful orange, pink and blue hues met my eyes as soon as I opened them. I had thanked God for having let me know it was going to be a good day.
As I was working on someone later that day, I was facing the window that looked out onto a parking lot. I started to notice at one point the clouds were parting, and the light was streaming in onto the person lying on the sound therapy bed. I put my hands in the light, watching as they warmed and absorbed those glorious rays. I shifted to my right, to bask in the sunlight for a moment and my eyes began to water. I remembered that feeling I had as I sang in church, and was filled with the deepest gratitude. A physical reminder that God is working, He is with us, and His love will always “shine through the darkness.”
Danielle Puleo is a staff writer for The Coastland Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.