“No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”- Matthew 5:15-16
“In the gospels the very first step a man must take is an act which radically affects his whole existence.”- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
I settle in front of our vintage black and white television set, fortified with a Forever Yours (aka Milky Way Midnight) candy bar and a small glass of Coke. The theme song strikes up:
“Out of the night,
When the full moon is bright,
Comes the horseman known as Zorro. . . .”
Mounted on his black steed Tornado, Zorro readies himself for another epic battle with the cruel, power-hungry Capitan Monastario- commander of the pueblo of Los Angeles. The capitan and his men have no idea Zorro (Spanish for “fox”) is actually Don Diego de la Vega, who carries out his deception under the cover of his intellect and milquetoast personality.
The theme song continues: “This bold renegade carves a Z with his blade, a Z that stands for Zorro.” The letter Z marks the spot, symbolizing that Zorro’s fully present, even though that may not be readily apparent. For the invalid at the Jerusalem pool called Bethesda (John 5:1-9), Jesus was fully present. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?” To receive Jesus’ blessing and shine the light of Jesus on the world’s darkness, he had to give up his security mat.
Applying Jesus’ question to your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, how would you contemplatively craft your response? An affirmative answer becomes the catalyst for a blessing from God that gives glory to the Father. There’s only one true assumption: God is able!
A century ago, A. W. Milne was one of a band of brave souls known as one-way missionaries, because they purchased single tickets to the mission field and packed their belongings in a coffin. The headhunters Milne ministered to had martyred all previous missionaries. At Milne’s death thirty-five years later, they inscribed the following words on his tombstone. May those words describe God’s presence in us:
“When he came there was no light.
When he left there was no darkness.”