If Mama's Light Ain't Lit

There are days when my mood seems to be in direct cyclical correspondence to what’s going on in my house at the time. If the kids are calm, then we might spend a quiet morning reading, puttering, baking muffins, and all seems right in the world. But if I wake up overtired, stressed, impatient, it seems like the kids sense my mood like our Basset Hound scenting a squirrel and things do swirl, alright, down the toilet. They get ramped up and I get ramped up and before I know it they’re in bed at 10:30 am, all of us covered in cereal gunge and applesauce, and I’m seething and wondering where I picked up that smell because I sure didn’t make it.

It also reminds me of that song “If Momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy”. I think that’s partly true but I think it goes deeper than that. And I also think this translates beyond the home and into our daily lives. At work, in our recreation time, interacting with others in our community. If we’re foul tempered, short, sighing-eye-rolling-impatient-foot-tappers, then that affects people around us and can cause a change in their day and mood. We’ve all had it happen to us and we’ve all done it, I’m sure.

It’s something to be aware of. I was rereading the passage from Matthew 5.

“14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

As Christians, whether we like it or not we’re a town built on a hill. By choosing to follow Christ we are different. We have made a choice that other people have not made. There’s no hiding.

I know this passage can be interpreted to talk about letting our faith shine through but what if we look at it from a different angle. What if we realize that yes, we do have this light, the light of Christ, and this light is to be used to bless people. This light is not only calling people to faith but also we can be a light in the everyday to people.

How do you feel when that certain person comes around. That person who just always makes you feel good? They’re light to you. How in our day-to-day can we lighten someone? How can we lighten their load, physically, emotionally, or spiritually? How can we love them by being something good and positive and encouraging in the midst of their day?

I found the end of verse 15 particularly interesting. It made me think literally about me having the potential to bring light to people in my house. My mood affects the people around me, for good or for bad. How can I be a light in my house, to my kids, my husband, my neighbors, the people who come in to fix my boiler, the people who pump my gas, the person who can’t accept my without-receipt return, the person who had an exhausting day and can’t decide what kind of coffee they want before heading out for the second part of their double shift, my pastor, my friend? How can I offer the best of myself to lighten someone’s experience?

2 thoughts on “If Mama's Light Ain't Lit

  1. sobering thoughts, Mandy. Especially when our margins are slim and the world around us still has needs that they expect us to meet. I remember hearing someone say that ‘I am the best Christian that someone else knows.’ (Yikes!) My comfort is knowing that CHRIST Himself lives in me! If I let Him, then He will cleanse me, and then use my mouth to speak HIS words, will use my heart to love with HIS love, and to use my body to walk around in, touching lives, and revealing Himself to the world around me. Otherwise we have no hope, when we attempt to cope. But praise be to God! He is sufficient for all of these things! And He knows our weaknesses, and cares. Thanks for your blog. I sure could have benefited from it when I was raising a young family. And thanks for living your life in a way that encourages me! I love you.

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