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Moon Shine

Yesterday was an interesting day. I was watching moon shine.

I was actually watching someone watch others in their difficult hours. But it’s sort of like watching moon shine. I’ve been observing and listening to the reactions of a friend who’s been challenged by the troubles of others. It’s an interesting third-party perspective–one that has opened my eyes a bit to the nature of shining.

For those engaged and entwined with the world around them–the people around them–there is an inherent risk. That risk is the inevitable reality of being touched by that world, by those people. The reality is being affected by what rocks that world or what disturbs the peace in those people. I’ve called it the downside of investing in others. It makes you vulnerable to the acute impact of ups and downs. It’s a by-product of giving yourself, your time, your energy. That reality is the true cost of paying attention. And it’s hard to take sometimes. It’s risky. It makes us vulnerable. It renders us helpless in times when we most want to make an impact. Yet, it offers us the greatest opportunity to shine.

Earlier in the week I was driving home and in a bit of a funk. I was frustrated by various situations and taking it out on the steering wheel. Dusk had just slipped by, and the full impact of the darkness had taken control. I had experienced a minor and temporary disappointment, which turned the actual dark of night into a metaphorical darkness of spirit as well. As I made that typical right turn on to Hwy 12, I saw the moon (at the risk of repeating myself). Hanging there in a brief visual respite from the signage and neon found between Taco Bell and the junction at Lousiville Street, that “ruler” of the night was completely full. It was a perfect circumference of light in a sea of cloudless midnight blue. Stunningly bright. Even in the presence of street lights and neon signs and car high beams, it was outstanding.

That full moon simply invaded the night of my mood at that moment. I could not escape the fact of how noticeable it was. I could not escape the fact that I wouldn’t have noticed it at all during the day time. I wouldn’t have noticed it without the pervasive darkness surrounding it. But, thanks to the night, I could see moon shine.

Yesterday was an interesting day. It was an enlightening day. There is a brightness of spirit sometimes found in people that can be quite rare. It shows up as an ability to offer light, peace, hope, or companionship in dark situations. It shines in the ability to be moved by the pain of others–to be moved to simple action. A phone call. A visit. A word to enstill courage. A tear on behalf of another. A shared sorrow. A renewed perspective. A bolstered possibility. I was a third-party to it in observing my friend. A hidden witness to that circumference of light standing in contrast to the night. In being privy to the darkness, I saw moon shine.

It inspired me.

It reminded me of some lessons on the nature of dark and light from last July. A portion of them bears repeating here, in “light” of yesterday’s witness to moon shine:

“Amazingly, light dispels dark rather quickly, efficiently and indiscriminantly. Light is generous, and despite the unfortunate efforts we sometimes impose on ourselves and others, it is uncontained…. the blackest dark loses its way in the presence of even the smallest light. Even a weak light reflecting its true Source spreads with uncommon power. The light I have to share, though small, can and will impact any sphere in which I choose to shine it.”

I aspire to that light. To that kind of shining.

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