Have you ever read the book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney? At the beginning, a little girl sits on her grandfather’s lap and tells him about what she wants to do in her life—travel the world and then live by the sea. Once she has finished, her grandfather smiles and says, “That is all very well … but … you must do something to make the world more beautiful.”
Last weekend, Dr. Calvin Sweeney, lead pastor at The Tabernacle, said, “Discover a need, and do a deed.” Deeds are actions—actions that create good, beautiful things. God has put a light inside all of us that draws us to do great deeds.
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
There are many problems in the world, issues that make the world appear so dark. But people don’t light lamps if the room is full of sunlight. Lamps are used when it is dark, when it is difficult to see. Jesus does not want us to withhold our light until he returns. He wants us to use it now, in the midst of a dark world.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
As followers of Christ, when we do deeds according to others’ needs, we shine our light. We are like the brilliant city on a hilltop, blazing in the darkness for all to see.
At the end of Miss Rumphius, the little girl, then an old woman, has done almost everything she set out to do. She traveled the world and found a home by the sea. But even so, something was missing. She went on a bike ride and noticed how drab the nearby town was. So to make the world a little more beautiful, she bought as many flower seeds as she could and tossed them into the grass on the sides of the road. After several months, great bunches of flowers sprung up, and the whole town came alive with their beauty.
In the story, Miss Rumphius let her light shine. She saw the need of the village, how it was ugly and plain, and used her love of plants to make it a little more beautiful. This is what God calls us to do with our lives and actions. The world can be dark, but it is in darkness that our light shines brightest. God has given all of us many ways to shine our lights.
Discover a need, and do a deed.
Where can you shine your light? Are there any needs that you can fill with goodness and beauty? In what areas of your life is God calling you to do a deed?
Take this week to look around for needs in your family, community, or workplace. Then take some time to create goodness and beauty in those areas. Maybe join a group that picks up litter, passes out groceries, or even plants flowers.
Consider participating in a Second Saturday Serve next month as our church comes together to be a light in our communities.
Father, you are the Light of the World. Thank you for choosing me to help shine light in the darkness. Help me to see the needs around me and the deeds you are calling me to do. I want to bring your beauty, goodness, and light everywhere I go. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Lydia Snyder. Lydia has been a story-lover for as long as she can remember, often found reading books or writing. She is thrilled to be making a difference by inspiring others to take part in the best story ever – God’s story. Lydia lives with her three wonderful siblings and two amazing parents.
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