The darker the night, the brighter a light shines.
A good friend has been giving me quotes from time to time that have meant something to him. I too give him quotes that I find that speak to me. We share our thoughts and, as a result, grow in our minds, in our perceptions, in our knowledge, and in our spirits. One of those quotes was “Be what you are. That is the first step in becoming better than you are.” Though I do not know who the author is, I find it to be a very fulfilling quote.
There have been times when I did not feel that I have lived up to being what I should have been. What I could have been. Or even what I should be at times. Still, this quote is a light to me. When I feel the darkest, this small piece of light shines within me. It gives me direction. A beacon if you will. A star upon which to fix my heading.
It is in the darkest of night that the stars are the brightest. On a very dark night, a match lit while standing on the deck of a boat can be seen for miles. In the darkness of a cave even a small ember can be seen very easily. It is the darkness that gives the light its brilliance.
Darkness is not a bad thing. In general, sleep is much better if it is dark. Even better if it is dark, a bit cold, and can hear the rain beating on the roof. Right? Yes. I knew. While none of us want to live in darkness, it is still the darkness that gives us at least part of what we need even if that is rest. While I like the sunlight and even appreciate the benefits of sunlight, it is still the darkness that both intrigues me and allows me to rest. Even hide if I feel the need. And yes, I do feel the need to draw away sometimes. Just for myself. Just to reflect and to meditate and to mull things over. It is in this darkness that I find the bits of light that I would not have seen in total daylight.
Try it sometime. Light a match in broad daylight and see if you can even see it from 100 feet away. Try taking it down the road a bit. See if you can see a match lit 1000 feet away. I doubt it. Do that in the dark and it is a brilliant display of light. Who goes to see the fireworks go off at noon? Nobody. It is the night that gives all of those colors their glimmer and glow. You would miss the whole purpose if you were to shoot off fireworks in the daylight. Kids do not enjoy lighting sparklers in the daytime or even at dusk. They like it best (as you would) in the darkest part of the yard.
When I feel the lowest, when I feel down, the smallest of sparks is something I can see. I recently had the experience of many bright lights in my life. More friends than I knew I had. They shined in their brightness in ways even they do not know. A card here, a kind word there, even just a touch of the hand meant much to me. It came from many more than I ever expected. It came from people I would not have known even cared. I have been very blessed by their kindness.
When someone else is low, it may be you that is that glimmer of hope. If someone calls you asking for you to be a friend, take the time. You may be the only light they need to get back to where they need to be. You can shine your brightest when someone else is in their darkest hour. All it takes is a little of your time. The reward is greater than you can imagine for both of you. You don’t have to have lots of money. You don’t have to be famous. You don’t have to look good, smell good, or really even be very good. All you have to be is a friend. Be there. Just be what you are. Just be!