Updated: May 25
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” - Matthew 5:14-16
I walked up next to the stage and was handed the microphone. The stage attendant said, “You got this.” I’ve done this a lot, but, at this moment, every time, I still get a few butterflies. I mean, these people are strangers. Will they get what I’m doing? Will they appreciate my effort? Will they walk out on me or nod in agreement? Will they applause or give me an "amen"? All of these questions came to mind as I heard the music begin. Ok Lord, here it goes. Let the right words come out of my mouth. I cleared my throat, took a deep breath and . . .
. . . “Girl you’ve never known no one like me! Up there in your high society” . . . Yes, I began singing a Tim McGraw song at karaoke on our anniversary vacation last week and . . . I NAILED IT! The recent graduates from a nearby Bahamas college started clapping and screaming and singing along. Man, what a rush! Good music, good food, a great vacation and about 75 new friends just singing away while the rain poured, and the thunder clapped during a midafternoon storm that took us off the beach and running for cover inside to this musical time of joy and fellowship.
After my adrenaline rush from pretending to be a country music star, I went back to the table to sit with Donna and enjoy listening to others sing their favorite songs. I noticed a gentleman coming toward me. He was wearing a vintage Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodger’s cap and jersey. He had this amazing smile and a peaceful way about him. He reached out with a fist pump and, in a delightfully smooth voice, said, “Man you had them screaming. That was so cool. You brought it baby!” Yeah, my head was swelling as I said, “Thanks brother, that was a lot of fun.”
He introduced himself as Frank. I made a comment about how I loved his jersey and the inspiration of Jackie Robinson for millions. In fact, I told him how I had just, that morning, seen an amazing photo of Jackie with Joe Louis a few years after Jackie had been denied admission into Army officer candidate school due to his race. It was Louis who actually helped reverse that decision, with the result being a second lieutenant ranking for Robinson. We chatted a moment about how cool that was and about some of those same challenges we face in our world today.
I introduced Frank and his wife to Donna then he asked me to sing a duet with him. Yeah, we were kind of like Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr as we sang a Bob Marley song. We about laughed until we cried. We weren’t too great, but it was so much fun. We spent a little time together the next day. He noticed my MPACT shirt and asked me about our ministry and then told me how important it was to keep reaching men with our message of grace. We said goodbye to them as they were about to depart to catch a flight back home to Brooklyn. Frank texted me a picture we took together. I told him I would stay in touch.
There was something about this man that was so intriguing. So inspiring. So peaceful, joyous and filled with love. I could have sat with him for hours. Frank had that little something that was so different. I could see others were drawn to him as well. He was just too cool. Man, with all of the pressures of this world building up on me, I really needed this man, at this exact time. He made me smile and I felt a load lighten when we spoke.
Later that day, I received a text and a string of pictures from my new friend. “Good morning, Trey. Our spirits are kindred. I knew there was something Godly about you. Our time together was deep. I’m about to celebrate my 31st year as a pastor in Brooklyn. I can’t wait to see you again.” I replied, “I knew it! God was winking at me when I met you!” His last words we brief, but powerful, “There you have it dear brother. That’s how HE works.”
Have you ever come across someone like my friend Frank? Someone who has “THAT” glow? That light that shines brightly from within? Someone who you are gravitated to because they are different? Someone that is so full of joy and peace that you wonder where it’s coming from and what that’s all about? Someone who you realize TRULY knows who they are in Christ?
Or . . . are you that person that His glow flows from brightly? When people see you do they see "THAT" something different coming from within you? Are we all like, my friend Frank, who shines the “light of the world”? Who don’t cover up that light and actually “put it on a lampstand” for the world to see? Who “lets your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven”?
Imagine what would happen when people do see His light shining from you. Imagine them knowing the reason for your hope, joy and peace. Imagine them knowing . . . CHRIST IN YOU. Now THAT would be something to sing about!!