How the Kindness of Jesus Shines Light in Dark Places
By Amanda DeWitt
The place seems dark even at midday. Sorrow hangs heavy in the air. Hope feels hidden, almost gone.
A recent report from the BBC details horrifying conditions at one camp for refugees from the Middle East: “Children as young as 10 are attempting suicide … Appalling sanitary conditions … Deadly violence.”
Teams from Unto™ have been to this very camp — and plan to continue serving refugees as they enter this and other camps. One of our staff members confirmed: “The BBC article is very accurate. The camp is full of darkness and despair.”
Hope may be hard to find in this place, but it isn’t completely gone. Glimmers of it still remain.
“God is working in this camp if you look for it,” our staff member shared. “We met new believers. We talked to men who don’t know Christ, but can no longer trust [their religion]. We answered questions about Jesus and the Trinity. It is a joy and a privilege to be a part of God’s work.”
In the darkest places, God is at work. And amidst darkness and despair, hope shines through.
Light in the Darkness
The refugee crisis is daunting. The U.N. reports that there are “68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide.” They have been forced to flee their homes for an unfamiliar town or crowded refugee camp. And while they long to find a better life for their family, they face overwhelming obstacles. Hope often fades as they struggle to simply survive.
But when life seems impossible, God’s light often shines through at just the right time. One of our field staff members serving in the Middle East shared:
One of the families that we care for called to tell us that a new family had just arrived to our town. We went to meet them … [and] gave them clothes for all the family, hygiene kits, a water filter, rice, and lentils. They were so happy to get this aid. They said, “You have such a great heart to help others in this kind of difficult situation.” The next time we paid them a visit they were so happy to see us.
This family experienced the kindness of Jesus at just the right time. They saw His love displayed through caring people. And as they heard about the eternal hope of Jesus, they responded in faith.
Let Your Light Shine
Jesus told His followers they were like a city on a hill and a lamp in a dark room (Matthew 5:14-15). Both stand out in the night, shining their warm rays on everyone around them.
As Christ followers people should see the light in our life. They should be warmed by the kindness of Jesus and look to Him. Jesus finished his analogy saying, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
We may never have the opportunity to personally distribute clothing, food, or hygiene kits to hurting refugees. But we can help provide aid that will be used to relieve their suffering, restore their dignity, and reveal hope.
Every day we have opportunities to meeting the tangible needs of those around us. A kind word. A meal. A ride to school. Sometimes the best ways to shine light are also the simplest.
As you go about your day, how will you shine God’s light? How will you share hope in the darkness?
Published March 27, 2019
Amanda is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Gift for Leadership, Kindred Spirit, and Christianity Today publications. She holds a M.A. in Media and Communication from Dallas Theological Seminary.