This little light of mine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

The words spill off my lips with ease. Words my mouth have been familiar with since the time I was able to speak.

I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

I pause and catch a glance into the rearview mirror at my four year old. “Hey hun, what do you think the light the song is talking about is” I asked, hoping for a chance at a conversation as we drive.  

“It’s the star mommy, the one in the sky.” she responded without missing a beat. 

My mind froze, and then began to spin. It felt a bit like a rewinding track as my surprise and confusion surfaced simultaneously and I frantically shuffled through memories trying to place her meaning. 

I have sung this song forever, since before I could remember anything else and yet I had never thought of the light as anything but a candle. What did she mean by a star?

She must have sensed my confusion from the lack of a response and she added “the one that shows people to Jesus”. 

Slowly the pieces began to connect and make sense. We had recently watched The Star (the one about the nativity) and it began to dawn on me this maybe is where her interpretation of the light was coming from. 

It had always been a candle in my mind, a candle the exact size of my index finger that I could hide under the bushel (yes, my daughter asked me what a bushel was and for those of you wondering, it’s a measurement of 64 pints). 

Somewhere along the way I think I interpreted the light as the flame that represented my faith, one that was for me to be preserved and protected. 

After all, two of the familiar lines of the song seem to bear a weight of fragility.

Don’t let Satan blow it out, or hide it under a bushel, no. Is this “light” really just a flickering candle that could get extinguished by a little air, a little resistance? 

I love that she sees this light not as a little flicker but as a blazing fire star. There is no fear of it being blown away and hiding it under a bushel would surely set that basket aflame. 

It isn’t something that has to be guard or protected but rather released and embraced. 

Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine

Yes little girl, wherever you go let it shine. Let your star blaze bright, or as you would say it; “show people Jesus”.

This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Lyrical”. 

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