Let Your Light Shine

The following blog post was originally a devotional presentation by Mr. Adam Haulter at the Senior Breakfast the morning of graduation.

“Let your light shine” is the theme for your senior year. It’s easy for me to be cynical about that theme from the get-go--Another great thing to sing about and paint pictures of in the elementary. How do I know what that even means as we see light being blotted out in so many corners of our human experience? There are refugees, and there are hungry people, and there are mass shootings, and there are viral outbreaks, and on and on. When I hear or read about these happenings I feel overwhelmed. What difference do I make? Those refugees who didn’t make it to their promised land, and those victims of disease, and those targeted or caught in the crossfire of wars and strife, or my colleague, Nancy Colón, who had such a bright light and is no longer here; they all had lights and those lights are out. In these times, I feel great despair.

How is shining “this little light of mine” going to change anything at all? I mean, the the song even says it's not very big.

But as I think about it, no matter how small it is, it's there. And maybe it's not that it's mine that matters, maybe it's just that I shine it, as much as I can for as long as I can, and let it illuminate those dark corners of racism, bigotry, hatred, depression, anxiety, despair. Maybe if enough of these little lights like yours and mine shine, the world will keep shining the lights of food provision, and vaccines, and refugee shelters, and community centers, and peaceful dialogue into all of that brokenness.

Maybe you wonder, like I do, about this little light of yours and how silly it sounds that you would take on the world with that little light. Will it make any difference at all when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? I don’t know, but I want to let you know that as you have been close members of my family for four years now, I have seen little lights in all of you and I want to remind you of them and celebrate each of you.

Mr. Haulter then went student-by-student to recognize how they shined their light. He spoke of one student as a lantern, persisting through challenges; another as a morning ray, emerging out of the “night” of hardship and struggle. He acknowledged the students whose light shines brightest in how they illuminate others. He commended the persistence of those who struggle to shine their lights consistently and encouraged them to persevere. After taking the time to appreciate each senior, he concluded his devotion.

I am really grateful for each of your lights and that you shared them with us over these last four years. Your light shining is an act of worship and I believe that God is pleased when he sees all that you are and will become. Because the point is not that your light is little; it’s that your little light, when you shine it together with all the other little lights, becomes too bright for the world to ignore. I believe these little lights of yours are bringing all of us closer to shalom and I pray that we can find it together.