Saturday, August 18, 2012

Are You a Light?

Author’s Bio: Kim Slater loves laughing after a good joke, hearing the sound of a rainstorm and attempting new recipes. Kim not only stirs it up in the kitchen, but also in the community by sharing her testimony and walk through freedom via Christian writing and blogging. You can follow her at

Are You a Light?
by Kim Slater

Lately I’ve been hearing Kari Jobe’s newest worship song on the radio. I am always so moved listening to her sing so beautifully what Jesus told his disciples, “We are the light of the world.” One day as I paid close attention to the words, I began to ask myself what exactly does it mean to be a light?

Maybe it means I should walk around with a flashlight shining it in people’s eyes, but I don’t think that is what Jesus meant when he advised his people to shine bright. He said we are not to hide our light, but put it on a candlestick where all can see. Luke 8:16

In my time of pondering what it means to be a light, God kept leading me back to my very own street. I sensed Him asked me “How do the Slater’s let their light shine upon the ones living on Hartford Road?”

We’ve lived in our subdivision for nearly six years. And while it was my mission change out every light fixture we had inside and outside our house to be bigger and brighter, I know that creating an inviting home isn’t what Jesus meant. When I really put some thought into the question, one person immediately came to mind… my spouse.

From the very day we drove our moving truck up to our house, my husband has shined bright. He is always friendly, open to meeting new people and greets others with sincerity and kindness.
The teenager boys trust that if they needed their skateboards fixed, Mr. Slater would be there to help. Scott’s loaned out our lawn equipment and taught a couple children how to ride their bike.

I have always admired my husband’s willingness to share a smile and meet someone new.  I’ll admit I am not the “welcome wagon” type because I tend to keep to myself unless someone extends an open hand first. But there came a point not long after we settled in our home that God seemed to orchestrate situations where I ran into neighbors every where I went. The more I deepened my relationship with God, I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Kim, your neighbors need someone to be there for them. I choose you.”
So in the spirit of being obedient, I began preparing baked goods to bless families on our street. I prepare meals for families who have a new baby at home. I have made it my business to know what is going on and shown compassion where I can. I have prayed for many on our block when crisis arose and tragedies struck. I’ve cried with, laughed with and counseled several women on our street with Godly guidance.

In return, my neighbors have helped me through some tough times. They held me up when I grieved the loss of eight unborn children in four years. They rejoiced as we witnessed the miracle of our daughter Averey being born. In fact, the first two visitors to greet her at the hospital were two neighbors.

If you are like me, you might be compelled to ask: Who is my neighbor? 

Eight times the Bible tells us to love our neighbor we love ourselves. So clearly the question God’s wants us to ask ourselves is not “who is my neighbor?” – but is “who acted like a neighbor?”

What I have learned from our time on Hartford Road is that God doesn’t put people in your life by accident. Every encounter we have with a person has the potential to be a divine appointment.

I believe the place we choose to live is often determined by God who all ready knows how we can “light” the way for our neighbors to know God’s loving kindness by the very way we show compassion, caring and concern to them.

In Matthew 5:16 Jesus command us to, “Let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father in Heaven.” I think what Jesus meant by “good works” is setting a Christian example with actions like:

• Be willing to invest in someone you might not otherwise get to know.

• Be kind and thoughtful to others.

• Be understanding and patient to those who are lost or hurting.

• Be open to sacrificing your time to help others in need.

Do you know who lives in the homes around you? I sense God is calling us into action so He can see our neighborhoods transformed by the work and miracles of God’s hands. Whatever your community is going through, you can be the “light” God calls you to be. Will you join me and commit to be all in?

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