I love picturing ideas in my head to help me understand God’s activity in my life. Biblical images, for example, of God’s guarding care prompted the book Guarded by Christ. I loved picturing myself in the fortress of God’s love and imagining a castle to help me. Of course, every day, I picture myself as “seated with Christ” as a way to inhabit the reality of Ephesians 2:6. I’ve even tried to imagine angels around me as I step out to do something new in ministry to remind myself of unseen aid. All of these mental exercises help a mind like mine.

This morning, I remembered another biblical image to help me think about my work on campus and in my community. I kept thinking about the number of times we’re told we “shine” or that God “shines” on us. The priestly blessing in Number 6 goes like this: The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. I love in Zechariah a picture of us shining. We read: On that day the Lord their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land. Or consider Psalm 34:5 and how “those who look to Him are radiant.”

Mostly, I kept returning to Jesus’s words in Matthew 5:16: In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I also considered Philippians 2 when Paul says to”do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”

What if we picture ourselves as walking around like huge spotlights, our faces shining from God’s love; our good deeds casting a warm glow; our kind words radiating out around us? There you go, shining on everything.

My verb of the day: shine.

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