by Karen Boyd
Several years ago, when Facebook was a newish thing, a post came through my feed that in a rather typical Facebook query asked, “Are you a light worker?” A “light worker” was anyone who, by their efforts, furthered the cause of the betterment of all people. If you cared for the poor and the marginalized, you were a light worker. Anyone making a stand for animals and the environment were light workers. Those souls who knelt in intercessory prayer and meditation were light workers. And if you answered “Yes, I am,” a small light would appear where you lived on an otherwise dark globe showing all of the lights that each light worker generated. This image made me think of what each man or woman might see while gazing out a window from Sky Lab.
Christmas has been neatly tucked away for another year. The trees are down and the Christmas lights are turned off and taken down. The light of Christmas seems to have gone from the world. January can seem cold and dark. Spring is yet a dream away. And yet Epiphany is a season of light shining out in the darkness. The wise men from the East who traveled to worship Jesus followed a star far brighter than the rest. They traveled to pay homage to a King, newly born. The baby Jesus was born into a world full of darkness, a world where the lives of all but a few were lives of fear and hopelessness. But this baby Jesus, born into the darkness, would shine a light far brighter than any star in the heavens. He would bring a light of love and hope that no darkness could hide. This is the light of Epiphany that we cherish and celebrate. This is the light of Christ, and this is the light that shines from us as we follow him to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Several years ago I met a man. As we talked he told me his story. He was a light worker. He had invented a piece of fishing equipment, an extension that was tied to the end of a fishing line that skimmed across the bottom of the lake and elevated the lure just enough to keep it from getting snagged on the bottom. He had patented his device. He invited me to visit his shop in a warehouse near the center of town. The name of his shop: Fishers of Men. This device was simple but effective and simple to assemble by hand. He invited the homeless and the down-and-out to have a break from the weather. They could work for an hour or two, earning a few dollars. He offered hot coffee, cold water, and a snack. The only catch was they also spent a time hearing the words of Jesus from the Gospels. Just one man’s light shining on others and out from the darkness.
It seems so often that it is the big and terrible that splash the headlines, but it is the small works of the light workers who light up this world, shining beams of the Light of Christ into the cosmos, that overcome the darkness. This world is full of those who put on the armor of Christ and let His light shine. The darkness cannot, and will not overcome.