I was going to add my thoughts to this, but I think it is powerful enough as is.
Right now, in our big world, on this globe we call earth, there are a lot of people wandering around in the dark. And guess what, those of us who call ourselves Christians, are the ones with the light. But sometimes we don’t use our flashlights in a very helpful or thoughtful manner. Instead of pointing the light on the pathway, on Jesus Christ who is the Way, we point the light in the eyes of people who are faltering along the way. We blind them with the light of criticism, especially what we think they are doing wrong. Just this week I read an article in a Christian newsletter which pointed out that in the last 20 years, the number of people who don’t identify as regular church attending individuals has not only increased but what’s more, the number who don’t want to be approached by Christians has increased as well. This got me to thinking, what if the only thing you ever heard from a Christian was how “bad” you were, what would your attitude be? Blinding someone with a flashlight not only keeps the “Way” from being seen, but it makes it impossible for your eyes to see well at all. Maybe this is why Jesus used the example of candlelight – a soft, diffuse light which provides beautiful illumination in the darkness. The author James Thurber observed that, “There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” May we choose, in the darkness of this world, to be an illuminating candle pointing those we meet to “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Dorothy Valcarel, Transformation Garden