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3 September 2022
Reflecting God’s light by bringing joy to others
Words Belinda Davis
Are you a sparkly person? Someone whose presence brightens the space they inhabit or helps make the world a little brighter wherever they go. Does that describe you or someone you know?
When I think of this concept, several of my friends spring to mind. Some people have also described me as being sparkly. I tend to smile and laugh a lot. I used to wear a sparkly work lanyard, and I also possess not one but two pairs of light-up, sparkly runners (a distinct advantage of having small feet).
This description, while sounding good, can also be a bit of a burden. There are times in my life when I don’t quite feel like bringing a bit of brightness into a situation. It may not be anything super significant – I may be tired or run down or missing my dad – but the number of comments I receive about me not being ‘quite like myself’ almost compels me to pretend to be sparkly. This can have quite a damaging effect on my wellbeing. It takes significant energy to shine when you don’t feel like shining, all because others expect it of you.
I also used to believe that being the joy bringer in a situation was a negative trait – that it spoke of a lack of maturity and silliness. I worried about what people thought of my intelligence. For this reason, I fell into the trap of ‘dialling down’ my brightness in certain situations to try to accommodate what I believed to be for the comfort of others. Again, this is another drain on emotional resources. The cost of spending any time being inauthentic is huge.
Generally, though, I like to be the positive one in the situation, the ‘glass-half-full’ kind of person. This is not something I conjure up or manufacture; it just seems to bubble up from within.
Jesus spoke about not hiding your light under a basket but shining it brightly for all to see (Luke chapter 8, verse 16). In the darkness, even the smallest light brings relief.
Over the years, I have had various signs on my office desk to remind me of sparkling. These have included, ‘You were born to sparkle’, ‘Never dull your own sparkle’ and ‘Be happy, be bright, be you.’ My favourite is
‘Leave a little sparkle wherever you go’. God made me a sparkly person, so I need to lean into that aspect of who I am created to be and to shine well.
The gifted poet, Maya Angelou, put it like this: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” It doesn’t take much to bring some joy and light to another. Not frivolous and disrespectful, but light and caring and sensitive. I like to think of it as leaving someone better than when you found them.
Our world needs more sparkly people, so why don’t you aim to shine well with those you spend time with this week? Leave a little sparkle wherever you go. Or if you prefer – be a rainbow.
Major Belinda Davis is a Salvation Army officer (pastor) in South Australia. She blogs at a-blessed-life.com