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  • Writer's pictureSue Bowles

This Little Light…..


The light of day that greeted me 30,000 ft in the air last year

Light. I like light. It greets me in the morning, brightens my day, helps me see. It comes from all kinds of sources: the sun, the moon, fire, friends, a burden lifted. We’ve had all kinds of issues with light lately.

Last week it was a serious line of thunderstorms that rolled through at 2am…so serious they had been warning about it for a day and so serious we prepared in case we were without power. Seventy mile an hour winds will make you take notice….especially when it’s dark outside (absence of light) because it’s the middle of the night so the only thing you can rely on to hear a tree falling is the sound….and hope you run to the right area of the house!

The first weather alert on the weather radio went off around 1 or 1:30a I think. All I know is what followed was an hour of me watching – or at least listening – to the tv (even the weathermen had planned on all-nighters), helping Mom feel safe, and waiting…wishing I was sleeping but no way I was going to simply from the sheer noise of the thunder and the light from the lightning. We made it through and the sump pump still works. We’re happy.

I had oral surgery 3 weeks ago and have been on ‘light’ lifting restriction since.

Some of my dear retreat friends who bring light to my world...even in the midst of Up & Down the River card game late at night!

Some of my dear retreat friends who bring light to my world…even in the midst of Up & Down the River card game late at night!

First it was no lifting then I graduated to light — 5-10 pounds max as tolerated. Today I graduated to ‘lift as tolerated.’ I wish the light in the recovery tunnel was brighter though. As I type I am eating organic toaster pastries and a glass of milk for dinner…..part surgery related and part eating disorder related. I was told the ongoing ache in my jaw is to be expected, that there was in fact a small puncture into the sinus that is healing, and that the tenderness in my jaw may last a while…or as the doc said, it will take a while for the bone to build back up as I had a ‘big tooth’ in there. So basically keep eating on one side of my mouth until the tenderness goes away which no one can put a timeline on, take Advil as needed, and just be patient. Yeah….about that…..the last 3 weeks have been killer enough. I was ecstatic my mouth let me cut the grass this past weekend. I guess it didn’t feel the pounding of the foot steps on the ground as much as it does the concrete on the warehouse floor because yes…walking makes my mouth ache a bit too.

I’ve been thinking about light a lot lately….as in being light in the darkness. I’ve had a couple times lately where people have told me I have been a light to them. I don’t say that in a haughty way…..more like a blown away way. My coworker is one. God has been doing something there that has been super cool to watch.

My coworker has returned to church. She had been saying for a while that she wanted to get back and within the last few months she has been going every week with a friend of hers. She is attending more than just Saturday night….she went to a night of worship, a single mom’s day event, and her young son is enjoying making friends as well. Last week she came to me in my office and asked if I would pray for her. She had asked that once before and she said ‘it worked last time.’ I was honored. And humbled. She and I have had a history of being short with each other and letting our attitudes bump heads with each other. What a privilege to be asked to pray for her, and what an honor to be able to tell her today I have seen a big change in her the last few weeks. Her attitude is better than mine at times (I can be pretty judgmental about things) and she has been so helpful and much more a team player. She thanked me, said it was good to hear, and that she is trying. She later told me she honestly thinks much of the change is from getting 2 negative Nelly’s out of her life. I would agree. She’s been asking my opinion on good Christian music to listen to saying she’s replacing the music on her phone, and she’s been streaming the local Christian station at her desk. And the coolest part…a week ago she asked if I would go to her baptism this fall!!!!! THAT was a no-brainer! OF COURSE!!!!!

It’s been convicting to be told I’ve been a big influence in her life. I know what I think at times and what I say at others….and it’s not being a light. I’m SO thankful God is able to block out ‘me’ so that HE is seen. It has really made me evaluate more deeply how I am behaving, what I am thinking, and what I am saying. While I pray to be a light I have a lot of dim light that shows more than anything else. I’m working on that.

I’m also trying to cast light on my eating disorder….not just to share the journey here but to better understand it myself. I meet with the dietician this weekend. The real battle is about to start. We will most likely start developing a meal plan for me to work from….which means the one thing I hate has to be my focus. The path to reprogramming my brain will begin. I look forward to the light she is going to shine on the nutritional end of things – what my body needs, where it gets it from, how much of it is needed, and how to keep it varied.


A Christmas candlelight service….light in the darkness

I guess I’ll close with lyrics to a song I wrote YEARS ago….no matter how dark my world may be at the moment…or clouded….or bright….these lyrics ring true all the time:

“You’re the Light in my darkness / calming the raging sea / Guiding me through the rocks and waves / (You’re) watching over me / When I can’t find my way / When I’m lost in the dark / You’re the light in my darkness / Bringing me back to your heart.” (from Light in the Darkness (c) Sue Bowles)

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