“This little light of mine,” her little finger stood as tall as a 2-year-old’s little finger could. Held out in front of her, the little candle signaled light, joy, and all things sweet and pure.

So much darkness little one, I thought. My little finger of light tilted to tap hers. There is so much darkness in the world. 

Her breath came, a puff of cheek-blown, lip-puckered wind against my nose.

“Don’t let Satan blow it out,” she shook her head, white strands against translucent skin. They stuck like streaks against her cheek. A wisp caught on a thick fringe of eyelash.

She was the little one without fear, the girl who asked, “Do you know Jesus?” to strangers in the grocery store line and spoke “Jesus loves you,” to the cars in the parking lot. She was the move over Billy Graham child of heart-melting evangelism. She was the child of, “I’m gonna let it shine,” and, “Don’t let Satan blow it out,” all meshed together. 

Her little finger held high, with its pretend flame circling around the world, would eventually face heartache and anguish. 

She became the child of growing pains, tween insecurity, and college doubts. When life danced again with joy and smiled benignly, she would be the child faced with unimaginable testing. 

“Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

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Until in a dark hospital room with two babies of her own, her world broke, and the chasm of unbelief opened its gaping mouth. When all she could do was mouth the word why with eyes big as saucers, life and faith teetered on a line.

Even there, dear child. Even on the cusp of eternity, that little light shone. It pinpointed—on the darkest days of our lives—where our eyes must turn and who to hold. It held its tiny flame for two little girls who needed a mommy who loved Jesus even when life hung on a thread.

And though Satan did his best to blow the wavering flame out, Jesus had already won the victory.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15).

Her brain stem mass retreated slightly. Pieces of her paralyzed body, like lost puzzle pieces, fit and moved again. She remembered her husband and daughters. She knew her mom and dad. The girl we lost in a Netherland fog of illness and medications began to wake up. We caught glimpses of her again, and we wept to find her still in there. We begged God all over again to bring her back.

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But a new shadow cast itself on the light growing brighter. Her miracle stopped half-way. Healing halted.

Faith tested in a furnace month upon month, begging for a bigger miracle than restored physical health.

It pleaded for light still bright in spite of crippling devastation, for light to overcome in darkness. 

“Am I not working hard enough?” she asked when muscles barely moved and speech whispered, difficult to understand. “Is that why I can’t walk? I should have tried more, worked harder?”

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Her little light still shines in a big world of dark.

Dear daughter, you are a victor not because you work hard for each movement you make or because life is tough, but because Jesus, Light of the world, lights your world. When darkness closes around, He goes to battle.

I wish I could take it for a season—your life, your hardship. I would change seats and sit in your power chair. I would watch you handle the chores of motherhood and house, from your vantage point, but I can’t.

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This candle is yours to hold. When the battle is overwhelming, strike the match again, look to the True Light.

Dear mommies, with your little ones so sweet and pure, Jesus is your light. Teach them with all you have to hold their little candle high. Only God knows how big the flame may need to be someday. 

Sing it loud together, “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

Sylvia Schroeder

Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 13, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.