Last Sunday, the sun shone bright though the weather here in Ohio was frigid and snow covered the ground. At church that morning, the stained glass windows glowed with an exceptional brilliance. Certainly the sun and its effect on the blanket of snow had something to do with the blues and reds and yellows and purples blazing in living colors and etching an imprint into my mind. But also, the beauty of the light coming through the glass felt significant because of our Pastor’s sermon. He mentioned that in a day when the dark comes at us in the form of diminished bank accounts and home values, and the dark advances in the gloom and doom of the job market and a recessed economy, we are ever more in need of the Light coming to us at Christmas. The gospel of John begins with the Light—“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” What good news for us and in our times!

Somehow, in the beauty of the stained glass, a connection can be made to life—maybe that we were created, each of us with a different hue and cut to offer the world. But when we join our lives and work together to bring light into the darkened world, a beauty of a new kind can be seen.

Several years ago, we thought as a family that we’d like to help a child in need, so we did some research and found a fantastic website that connects ordinary people with children in need, World Vision, found at We decided to cut back on a few things like Happy Meals and other trinket toys and use that monthly money toward supporting a child. When that child wrote us his first letter and sent a photograph, we were hooked. Barton in Kenya became part of our family. When World Vision gave us the chance to send an extra monetary gift for Christmas, we decided to cut back on the things we could get for ourselves and share some of that money with Barton and his family. Later, when we received a photograph showing how they’d used that Christmas gift money to meet their immediate needs, we were stunned. Not only had Barton’s family purchased a cow, but also two goats, a pair of work boots for the dad, a set of school clothing for Barton, a bag of rice, and a new stack of school books. We still have the photograph, along with the others from years in between, hanging on our refrigerator.

This Christmas season might be different than the rest. Sure, money all around is tighter for most. And the darkness seems to be getting the upper hand for many. But when we take our small and insignificant lights and put them together, the impact we can make on the dark is enough. Enough to make a difference in the world. Enough to bring new light into another’s life. And sometimes, from a simple gift, we can gain the gift of a whole new perspective and experience the immense joy of giving. Like a stained glass, the simple gifts, when added up and combined together, can change the landscape of the world.

Thank you in advance for sharing your stories in comments of the joy you found by sharing!

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

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