Friday, December 7, 2012

Shine, Part One

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:13-16

If someone were to offer make my day-to-day life into a reality TV show, what would that look like? What would they – the folks behind the cameras and the viewing audience – see in following me around in my daily activities?  I started thinking about this recently after watching a few episodes of two particular reality shows over the past few days.

I’m not much of a TV watcher anymore. Frankly, for as many channels as there are on cable and satellite TV, there really isn’t a whole heck of a lot out there that I consider worth spending my time watching.  My family, however, loves them some reality TV (and that really drives me crazy).  From American Pickers to Ice Road Truckers; Ink Master to What Not To Wear – a crazy cast of characters always seems to parade across our TV screen nightly and out into our living room.

I’ve caught snippets of some shows; other times, I’ve actually been able to sit down and watch an episode or two with my family. I’ve had a myriad of reactions to what I’ve seen on the screen: laughter, tears, shock, compassion, disgust, appreciation, sorrow, horror, sympathy. 

For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why some people are so willing and eager for total strangers to invade their lives, allowing themselves to be followed around and filmed as they attend to their daily activities; or what possesses them to air their ‘dirty laundry’ for all the world to see. I’m sure we could all come up with plenty of ideas, but that’s not where I’m going with this post.

The other night, I sat down on the couch with my 16 year old daughter to watch a show which centers on a family’s struggle to move forward after the death of a beloved family member. After watching 3 episodes of it (darling daughter had LONG gone to bed while Moi remained), it was clear the show was an obvious, blatant exploitation of this still grieving family. I was really shocked that the family’s matriarch, a God-loving, God-fearing woman, would have sincerely given it her ‘blessing’ and allowed her name to even be associated with it, especially after the disgust and disappointment  she’s expressed over the media’s circus-like coverage of her daughter’s death.  

But even more so, I was saddened by the things I saw played out by a family who says they love the Lord. Besides the many necessary ‘bleeping’ out of certain language, questionable clothing choices and living arrangements, one scene in particular stood out to me that was both pitiful and ironic: a husband and wife engaged in a nasty argument with each other underneath a wall plaque prominently displaying these words:

The next night, I caught some episodes of another show that follows the lives of two gospel singing sisters. I LOVE these gals. Their music has inspired and encouraged me over the years.  But again, the things I saw and heard really gave me pause. I turned off the show, disappointed. Because these women are Christians.  Christ followers. God lovers. Committed to serving the Lord with their gifts, those beautiful singing voices.

But had I not known this, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell they were by what I saw and heard. I would have perceived them as just another couple of celebrity divas with a crazy entourage and a foul-mouthed, greedy manager. 

Please understand and believe me: I am NOT here to criticize, judge or point fingers at the families on these shows. After watching each of these episodes, a great sadness came over me that lasted for several days as I continued to ponder what I had seen. And as I sat in quiet reflection earlier this morning, God’s sweet whisper came to me, as it usually does, to make these musings very personal:

“And what does YOUR life look like, dear one, to those who don’t know Me? If camera crews were to shadow YOU each day, what would they see? Would they see only you, or would they see a reflection of Me? Would they be able to tell that you were Mine?”

Questions that caused me to cringe. I already knew the answers.  

And then more questions – from my heart – like flood waters, came pouring out:
  • Do my words -- verbal and written -- honor and glorify the Lord God?
  • Do my actions and attitudes befit a daughter of the King?
  • Do my eyes reflect Christ’s love?
  • Do my facial expressions and body language give off the impression of a kind, gentle, caring and approachable godly woman?
At the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the crowd that they were to be salt and light. This command remains the same today. And that knowledge brings more pondering. 

Salt and Light, by Bernie Rosage, Jr.
What does it really mean to be salt and light? What will it look like for me and how do I do this?After all, I’m only human. A flawed, imperfect soul. And yet – called to be different.

Not of this world
Set apart

A journey for another day. I hope you'll join me. 

Make 'em wonder what you've got,
Make 'em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored;

Let it shine before all men
Let 'em see good works and then,
Let 'em glorify the Lord ~ Shine, by the newsboys


  1. Beautiful and true, Pam. I can't believe the things I see sometimes on TV....I love the painting of salt and light also. I love how you started this post....what would our lives look like indeed! Lori

  2. Thanks, Lori! I appreciate your stopping by and commenting. ;)

    Yes, I really liked that salt & light painting, too!


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