I am one of those rare individuals who loves Mondays. It’s like New Year’s Day every week. A brand new chance to fix what I screwed up last week. A brand new chance to spread joy throughout the land and spread His light to those around me. This weekend I volunteered at the Extraordinary Women conference. It’s the second year in a row I’ve volunteered on the “Greeting” team, and this particular year I was the Greeting Team Leader. As a greeter, you’re the first person someone sees when they come to the conference. You can’t just take their ticket and scan them in. No way. It’s, “Hi, Welcome to E-Women. Have a great day! Welcome. We’re glad you’re here. Section 118 is to the right. Hi. Welcome to E-Women. It’s good to see you! Good morning, welcome back!” et cetera, et cetera several THOUSAND times. This is the PERFECT job for me. Last year, they asked me to come back as a Team Leader, which meant that I helped organize the number of workers per door, arranged everyone at their stations, swapped out ticket scanners with dying batteries, and basically ran back and forth from entry point to entry point like a madwoman making sure no one needed bathroom breaks, giveaway packets, or help with misplaced tickets. And, of course, “Good morning! Welcome back!…” I had a team of 11 beautiful ladies welcoming each guest in, and I stressed the importance of smiling and making the conference-goers feel at home as soon as they hit the entrance. One of the greeters on my team, Sue, didn’t really have a bubble of sunshine bursting forth. Thinking she was nervous, I let her know that just a little more light spewing forth from her soul would be just fine. After all, we are the GREETERS, and greet we shall. It was then she told me that her light was dim. It was then she told me that she almost didn’t come. It was then she told me that her husband of more than 30 years had passed only a month ago and truthfully, she was still trying to find her joy. She wasn’t sure she could do it, but she was going to try. And she showed me the photo on her phone of her bearded knight in shining armor, who died in her arms at the young age of 56. And it was then, in the middle of her revelation, that my heart broke for her. You see, if you are a naturally happy, bubbly person, it is so easy to let your own light be so bright that it blinds others. It’s something entirely different when you realize that there are times when you need to tone down the light that YOU shine, so that you can shine HIS light for them. [bctt tweet="...tone down the light that YOU shine, so that you can shine HIS light instead."] Sue didn’t need me to verbally tell her life would be okay and she would shine again soon enough. She needed a hug. She needed me to whisper that she could bow out of she needed to. That she could spend a 1/2 hour or a full hour or the next three DAYS in the bathroom if she needed to cry. She needed me to check on her more frequently and hug her, and yes, to tone down the blinding light that was popping out of my soul. So those are the things I did, because that was the kind of light that Sue needed. She needed the shining candlelight in the darkness, not a floodlight. There will be times when your own light is dim and the best thing you can do is let someone know so they can love on you. Women are busy, yes. But it's rare that I see another woman who lets her guard down enough to say, "My light is dim" not be met by another woman who races to her rescue and lift her up in her hour of need. Even in our busy-ness, we drop it all to come running with cake and sweet tea, and midnight phone calls when our friends need us. At my hotel room Friday night, four of us ladies prayed for Sue’s heart during this fresh and unexpected loss of her beloved. Four strangers covered her in prayer and asked God to heal her broken heart in a way that only He can. The next morning, I told her that the genuine smile she had on her face that morning was just beautiful. And it was, so very beautiful. SHINE family, I know there are hurts for so many of you. I know there are losses and memories and holes in your heart that need healing. Today, I am still praying for Sue, because she doesn’t have the distraction of saying Good Morning a few thousand times. Today, she went downstairs to an empty kitchen where he should have be waiting for her. Today, wherever Sue is, I hope she feels me thinking of her and praying Psalms over her.
This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. ~ Psalms 119:50 The Lord is near to those who are broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18
But I am also praying for you. Because some of you are having the kind of Monday where you are spewing forth floodlights of joy. And some of you are just trying to keep your candle lit in a dark, dark room because it is your heart that is broken this morning, and your spirit that is crushed. And a whole lot of you are somewhere in between. Know that the Shine family is not just a business. With every angel wing sent out, every heartbeat necklace, every congratulatory tassle, we pray for you, that this little piece of our Shine would help you shine that much brighter. So that's my Monday wish for you. That you would reach out if your light is dim, knowing. Knowing. That your Shine family is ready, with candle in hand and prayer in heart, to help you burn just a little brighter today. Shine On, Karen SHINEBlog Editor Karen is a mama, writer, editor, engineer, and chocoholic who loves anything sparkly. When she's not editing SHINE posts, you can find her on her blog, Perhaps This.