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Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday Freelance: SONSHINE

"And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the Unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.' "
~ Minnie Haskins

Friday Freelance: SONSHINE

Few green things tolerate my care. The pictured aloe is mine. Its survival mystifies me. Even a desert plant needs some moisture, and this southwestern wayfarer does well to be watered once a month. Yet it inexplicably sustains life from that trace H2O, its soil, the air, and the pathetic excuse for sunshine Michigan offers. And I know my aloe likes the sun. I can turn this plant any direction, and it stretches pitifully, achingly toward whatever sunlight penetrates clouds and walls.

Colorado is blessed with 300 days per year of sunshine. For 27 years I knew no other life, and took the sun for granted. My first Michigan winter offered five weeks straight of no sunlight. (Like the ancient tradition to stop at 39 lashes lest 40 prove too severe, we were spared a 40th overcast day.) Daylight does occur here—relative to nighttime—but sunlight is always a gift. More than once, I've had a native Michigander point to a momentarily visible patch of blue sky and say, "Sunshine!" I can only shake my head and choke back a sob.

That aloe defies death, speaks empathy to a sister transplant—and shows no ill-effect in sacrifice. I've discovered that fresh aloe generously applied to moderate burns will immediately and permanently remove the sting. A burn at my house means an aloe appendage is partially severed that a human may be healed and comforted. The gaping wound to the aloe soon closes. No matter how many times we cut it, my aloe thrives, continually producing new shoots.

The only evidence of its many sacrifices is the absence of bottom branches and the scars where once they grew. Lacking those longest branches for support, the aloe no longer leans gently toward the sun, but is now bent completely in the direction of light.

"Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
~ Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV)

2009 was a year of many cuts upon me. Each gaping wound closed, though scars remain in my heart. My body has yet to recover from the effects and reminds me daily of what's been sustained. Continued healing occurs as I bend myself low, stretching toward the Light. The Lord heals even as He uses me to accomplish healing where another has been burned.

I held a quiet pity party recently, inviting only me, myself and I. Of course, the devil loves a pity party, so one of his minions snuck in—unrecognized, unseen, but not unheard.

It's no fun to have such a small party. So I asked the Lord if I might include someone else. God is good. He sent me someone. Someone with real problems. Someone with good cause to have a pity party, who didn't succumb to that temptation, but simply called upon a friend.

At once I came to my senses, kicked the enemy out, and spoke words of Light. Guess what? The Sonshine appeared. Pity parties take place only in spiritual darkness, so my own party was done. The adage proves consistently true: If you want to cheer up yourself, set about cheering up someone else.

We walk in a dark world. We hold Light within us. The two will co-exist until Jesus establishes His reign. Darkness overtakes only if we do not actively choose to display Light. We must resolve: "When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say, 'Blessed be the name of the Lord!' "

Press on toward what lies ahead. May Sonshine fill your life throughout 2010.

Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved. #encouragement


  1. That's my anthem this year. To live joyously through Christ, because of Christ, giving nonstop genuine thanks and praise. Every waking moment I ache for His light. Happy New Year Anne!

  2. We always must look for God's light.

  3. This year I want only more of Him. All other resolutions I leave to His will and guidance. God bless you in 2010, Anne. I pray God will make Himself ever more known, both TO you and THROUGH you.

  4. I loved the part about bending low and stretching toward the Light. And also how we hold the Light within us. God's been impressing a lot about the power of His Light in my life.

    I often think of the scene from Return of the King (third of Lord of the Rings triology) when Frodo is caught in the spider's snare and he locates the light given to him. The scene reminds me of God's role in my life.

    Happy New Year!
    ~ Wendy

  5. T. Anne, Happy New Year! Making joy your anthem means you'll be singing? Great way to keep Sonshine in your heart!

    Natasa, true that. And He rewards those who seek Him diligently.

    Gwen, I'm so very grateful for your prayers. Thank you. You know you are in mine.

    Wendy, words have power. So does whatever we focus upon. Whatever fills our eyes—Light or darkness—will fill us as well. "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23)

    Patty, Amen! :D


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