Illuminate Event Devotion

At last night's Illuminate Event, our intern chaplain, Laura Tardie, shared a story of light with us. Her devotion is as follows:

"A little girl woke up one night to an unfamiliar sound in her bedroom. It sounded like the alien she’d seen in a movie earlier with her big brother, she thought, still half asleep. For a few minutes she was scared to leave her bed and felt trapped, holding tight to her blankets; she was afraid the alien would hear her. She finally mustered up the courage to lean across her bed and reach for her lamp. As she strained her arm to twist the knob the light quickly flickered on as the darkness darted under her bed and in the corners of the room. As soon as her eyes adjusted, she realized that the alien was just her cat scratching at something he saw on the floor.

Light. It dissipates fear. It allows us to see things for what they really are. It lets us see one another for who we really are. It’s easy to understand that children are afraid of the dark. But even many of us as adults get scared in the midst of darkness.  Perhaps it is because the darkness represents the unknown. The unclear. The misunderstood. And it temporarily blinds us so we feel out of control.

Tonight we gather in darkness. Our eyes had to adjust as we left that room to come out here. I have been referring literally to the absence of visible light. But let’s delve further into this imagery. Let’s think about the people in our very community who are left in the dark. Or our neighbors whose part-time job does not provide them with medical insurance. What about our friends who are not sure if they will be able to pay their next electric bill?

Like the little girl who couldn’t figure out the noise in her dark room, we often have trouble seeing the people in our community who cannot make ends meet, but we know they are there. And often like the girl, we label them as alien or foreign. But when the lights come on, our eyes adjust, and we see the familiar faces of our next-door neighbors, our friends, the people in our church who don’t say anything, and the people behind us in the grocery store check out line.

The light that illuminates our hearts to help our neighbor is ignited by Christ whose life was the light of all people and whose light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.

The prophet Isaiah knew something about the needs of his neighbors. Listen to his challenge to his people while they fasted and let it become ours to our neighbors:

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.” Isaiah 58: 6-9

So let us take on Christ’s light and shine as lights of our community here in Wake County to give all the honor and glory to God. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit, Amen."

Check out the full story on the event on our Facebook page at