I have often wondered, if God had an email address, what would his inbox look like? Would it be mostly full of letters expressing gratitude, or would pleas for help dominate? And how does he answer all of those pleas for help, for answer he does. Might we not say with confidence that more often than not those pleadings from his children are answered through the loving hands of those who are also passing through this mortal journey? In this manner both he who needs the blessing and he who provides it are richly edified.
I remember a song in church about scattering sunshine wherever we go, that as we do so we may bring joy and comfort to others along our way who are sad and lonely, discouraged or troubled. Interesting thought that is, for how does one scatter sunshine? Do we scoop it up in a basket or pull it from the sun? Jesus Christ taught that men are not to hide the light they have, but are to use it to bless the world. Indeed, what good is a lit candle under a bushel to anyone? Light, or sunshine, must be scattered around to be of any good.
The apostle James taught that faith without works is dead. Said he, if a brother is naked or hungry and our faith propels us to nothing more than a “hi ho, hope you feel better tomorrow,” what doth it profit anyone? “Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” In essence, James knew the principle of scattering sunshine wherever he went. He knew that the light he had been given was to be shared. He knew, as we may come to know, that life can be lived in such a manner that we actively seek moments to bless another, usually in simple, small ways.
Let us consider for a moment Peter and John as they entered the Temple one evening many years ago. There they met a man, but what the man needed, or thought he needed, they did not have. But they did have something to give, and they called down the powers of heaven on him as he went his way singing and dancing on newly healed legs. As grand an event as this was, it is also the rare exception. Most sunshine that we scatter will come from within our own limited resources in the form of a genuine smile when none is expected, a helping hand at just the right moment, or the giving of our time to sit and listen attentively to another’s story. The world does not need another lecture, but it desperately needs those who will scatter sunshine on a personal, one on one basis. For in doing so, we partner with God in answering another’s prayer. We may not send them away on newly healed legs, but we will send them away with a newly healed spirit.
Craig Lindquist is a Lihue business owner who writes an occasional column for The Garden Island.