Shine Distance I used to be afraid of flying. Well, not really the flying itself. More like crash landing, or the hostage takeover, or the terrible turbulence. You know, basically anything you’d see in a Sandra Bullock or Nicholas Cage airplane-related movie. All. That. I finally had a come-to-Jesus meeting with Jesus and can tell you straight up I’m no longer afraid of flying. I do have my preferences though - window seat. Puffy clouds. Sunrise/sunset timing. I took an overnight business trip recently, and the flight departing to my destination had all of the above; window, puffy clouds, sunrise. AND Pretzels. Boom. It really was a wonderful flight. I had to remind myself that I wasn't the only passenger in the row because I caught myself hogging the entire window at one point. Anyway... my return home the next evening was the *last* flight of the night. The last flight into the airport for the entire evening, if that tells you anything. The entire airport had been closed except for those coming off of our flight thanks to a delay. It was late and it was dark. The thing I love about the windows on an airplane? You can see everything down below. You can’t see the people walking around, but you can see cities and towns. You can see farms and houses and kidney-bean-shaped pools and communities and traffic and all the normal things that make life go round every single day. At night the view is so different. It’s just darkness. It's so hard to imagine what that same space looks like flooded in beautiful light. But every few minutes as you glide through the air you can peek down and see this pop of light. And it is so bright, y’all. It’s just a street light or a porch light, or a flood light but it is light and you can see it and it is bursting forth shattering all of that darkness! Here's the thing. There is so much darkness around us. Every day, we hear things that shouldn't be happening and we see things that shouldn't be happening, and we can quickly become overwhelmed by all of it. Sometimes we don't know what to do. It's easy to think there is only darkness because it's more, and more often, and closer. But I can tell you the 30,000 foot answer to that. Shine On. Because looking down into the darkness from 30,000 feet away and seeing that beaming light? It's a glimmer of hope. Evidence of life. It is light, shining on into the darkness.  The people in those homes and in those businesses? I guarantee you they aren't thinking about who's traveling 7 miles above them looking down at their street light. But the person looking at the light is so very grateful to see that glimmer of hope beaming back at them. And that's how it is with us. You may never know who your shine beams for. You may never realize the impact you have from a distance. You may not see the difference you make in the life of a child or a colleague or the stranger you opened the door for at the dollar store or the security guard that you greet every single morning, but it does. It does make a difference. Because the way we dispel the darkness? One light at a time. You are that light. Shine On. XOXO, 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.