By Dr. Joyce of The Caring Heart Spokane, WA
“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” (Luke 8: 16-17).
I had a marvelous experience not long ago – so common, so ordinary, and yet so impressive and unforgettable. I entered a picture framing shop to pick up a large, framed collage of my horses. I told the shopkeeper that my one pictured horse had passed on now. He responded by telling me about his dog, and how very devastated he will be when that dog passes on. Our conversation continued, and he insisted upon carrying the collage out to my truck. How remarkable!! In just a few moments of time, he and I had entered into a meaningful dialogue in which eye contact was there, smiles were reciprocated, and sharing of our deeper selves was carried on in trust, and not hidden in fear. The atmosphere had immediately taken on a warm glow, which seemed to transform the whole room. The atmosphere was filled with kindness, caring, love, security, friendliness, and light. That shopkeeper’s candle was set on a candlestick, and I could benefit from its glow, and enter into an encounter in which we got to know each other in a very real way, even though brief. So relaxed and fulfilling. It was impossible not to really like him!
Dismally, I have had many other social experiences which seemed more like barren deserts, and I’ll bet you have had those kind, too. What a drag! Eye contact absent or as brief as possible. Greetings absent or brief also, with flat expressiveness. Frozen faces hide whatever thoughts and feelings may be going on inside. These people act like they don’t want you to know them at all, and they surely don’t want to know you!! The main goal in these cases seems to be dread avoidance of any meaningful interpersonal encounters. No light. No warmth. The real reasons why such people are so avoidant are left to one’s imagination.
Unfortunately, the latter scenario is all too prevalent in today’s world. Such social deserts seem to be saying that being distant and uncommunicative is OK, and just fine. But that is not OK. It is insensitive and mean, and promotes meanness in many other areas of life, such as family life, friendship life, work life, and animal life. Social deserts are part of the darkness, affecting so much. Seems to me that Satan loves that kind of thing!! Sensitive people want to run away!
For everyone’s sake (humans and animals and God’s Kingdom on earth), we need to be people who keep our candles on their candlesticks, not keeping “who we are” hidden, because we don’t have anything to hide anyway. We need to exude warmth, openness, and friendliness in all social scenes we go into, which will move those atmospheres toward happiness, joy, warmth and love. In atmospheres of light, meanness towards humans or animals does not occur because it JUST DOESN’T FIT, any more than meanness would fit in God’s Heaven. I don’t think we commonly realize how crucial keeping our candles on their candlesticks is to changing our world for the better. We are ALL needed to be open and expressive, and to acknowledge humans’ and animals’ identities and presences.
Dr. Joyce The Caring Heart Copyright 2012