A Hole in the Darkness
“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
When I was young, I believe that a smile was something that no one could take away from me. Smiles were miracles, ones that came about often as a result of my optimistic self. However, because of my strong conviction that I would always have friends to laugh with, when I realized that I could not always trust the world to be a friend to me, I felt as if my light had been destroyed. My life was crashing through the darkness of a pit that had no bottom.
I was schooled at home with my four brothers until eighth grade, so when it came time to enter my public-school life, I was eager to meet new people and have a group to which I could belong. Once at school, however, I was forced to come to grips with the reality that most of the people at my middle school had known each other since third grade; they had their own friends already, had their own groups. I was always cheerful and caring—it was my nature, but nobody seemed to want to return that kind of love. I began to understand that friendships in this culture rarely extend past a mutual agreement that two people get along well. What I wanted was a real friend, someone who actually cared about the person inside of me. Slowly, that longing began to turn into an obsession, and for several months I felt as if my life meant nothing to the world.
Eventually I realized that no matter how much I yearned for a friend, nothing I was doing could make that friendship possible. It was selfish and unrealistic to expect everyone to be a light to me when my world was dark. All that I could ensure was that I was shining for others. So instead of letting my cheerfulness slide with thoughts of loneliness, I took my situation as a challenge to keep my optimism running high. I regained my confidence, and the shy, self-conscious girl I never truly was disappeared. I forced myself to keep smiling, and in the process, rediscovered who I was, a truly happy girl who wants to reach out and help people; and because my longing for a friend was no longer centered around my wants and needs, I was able to be there for others more fully, sympathizing and helping in whatever way I could.
Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish author and poet, once described light as “holes in the darkness.” I believe in being a light even when the entire world is dark and cold, because I want to shine for God’s glory. I want to be that individual who always gives her love to others. I want to be that hole in the darkness.