This Little Light of Mine

I guess one could say I “know” or am familiar with a lot of music.  Growing up, my family attended a United Methodist Church, so it should come as no surprise that at one point I knew all the words and choreographed hand-motions to the children’s song “This Little Light of Mine”. I no longer recall if it was ever a favorite of mine then, but now, this song is more dear to me as a result of my Grandmother’s funeral in 2008. It might seem a little morbid, but hang with me.

During the service for my Grandmother (Minelle Jordan McGlothlin), my brother Matthew and the presiding pastor Rev. Valarie Englert both used the words “music”, “song”, “light”, and “love” to describe her life. Matthew even read aloud the words to “This Little Light of Mine” and recounted the memories that associated the song with her. It was in that celebration of her life that I found inspiration for my own –yes, in music, of course! Here it was affirmed that life can be and is a song of joy, of light, of love.

It was only natural, then, that my ears and heart were opened when I first heard “This Low” by the Swell Season. In the concluding refrain, I found a sort-of mediation, breath prayer, to remind me how I want my life to be–in the light:

Thread the light, And spread the light
Shine your light, Don’t hide your light
Live the light, And give the light
Seek the light, And speak the light
Crave the light, And brave the light,
Show the light, And know the light
Thread the light, And spread the light
Raise the light, And praise the light.*
“This Low” by The Swell Season (around 3:25)

Each verb is a challenge to stretch myself further and to get “me” and my insecurities out of the way of myself so that what resides at my core can radiate. The words invite me into deeper, humbling and grace-filled relationships with God, with myself, with my family and friends, and hopefully with anyone I meet.

I consider those lyrics as my “This Little Light of Mine”. Both songs remind me that the world needs my individual, unique light just as it needs yours and needs ours together. So, I’m going to let it shine.

*As a side note, the lyrics above come from the live recording of this song. In the studio recording, the last two lines are reversed. I prefer the ending above 🙂

2 responses to “This Little Light of Mine

  1. Valarie Englert

    Beth, this is beautiful blog! Let your light shine brightly, my friend!

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