Anilakkus via Canva Pro

Photo courtesy of Anilakkus via Canva Pro

Just Light

LIGHT. I have always enjoyed the practice of choosing a single word to pray over and focus on. My selections change from year to year (and sometimes more often than that) depending on the journey I am on in my life at that time. But there is one word that has followed me as a war cry for many years now, and if you have spent more than thirty seconds anywhere on this site, you know that word is light.

This cherished word of mine has had quite an extensive journey. If you follow its timeline back through history, you will find it brightening Middle English in the 15th century and illuminating German and Dutch etymologies before that. But if you chase the meaning and translations further, you will find that people were looking for light so much earlier. Like Jesus earlier.

Even then they knew how much we needed it.

Some would say its meaning throughout time has been versatile and ever-changing. Even now it can be a noun or verb or adjective, your pick. But I would say that despite its historical transitions, it has held a flame for one particular mission—providing a source of hope.

Light makes things visible, brings an expression to the eye, illuminates, ignites, and brightens. Since the days of the Bible, some version of it has indicated the removal of darkness. In hundreds of countries and languages and cultures, this word, or a translation of it, has indicated a source of change that brings some form of revelation. That was exactly what I needed so many years ago when I couldn’t see where I was going anymore. There was no other way to explain it. I needed light.

While I will continue the tradition of picking a novel word to guide me each year, light remains right beside me as my compass for good. When I have it, I am a better human . . . and I am better to my humans. Light helps me overcome challenging times and see forward when it is very dark. Light allows me to see the way. It brings me hope and revelation and purpose within change.

Today, it has even brought me to you.

Now that is enlightening. Now it is your turn to go chase light.


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.comThe “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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