You Got Coverage?
You know how cell phone carriers compete for coverage? There's always those commercials that are like: hey, look at this map. It's got red spots all over it. That's Verizon. That's our coverage. See the blue spots? I know, it's hard, you may need a magnifying glass. That's AT&T. That's their coverage.
I remember growing up and arguing with friends "I have Verizon! I have soooo much more coverage than you." It was this weird thing we did, I don't even think we really knew what coverage was. Anyway, after a lot of humbling, I switched from Verizon to AT&T, when only AT&T carried the iPhone (remember those days?), and my coverage was actually better than expected, except for at the Brambleton Town Center (sorry Mom for missing all your calls). Only Loudoun County kids back in 2010 will understand that struggle. Stuck it through with AT&T for about a decade now and we are going strong, let me tell ya.
Now, this blog isn't about competing cell-phone carriers, but it is about coverage.
I See The Light!
The other week I was talking to my beloved friend Kendall and we tend to have conversations that just go pretty far. Not in the sense that they're bad but rather hilariously creative. She introduced me to her favorite restaurant and over chicken, rice, and fries, this odd question came to me.
"Kendall, you know how people see the light when they die?"
"Well, they're talking about Jesus because Jesus is the light..."
"So what do you think Jesus saw when He died?"
Disclaimer: I am not a theologian nor have I gone to seminary school, this is just a creative conversation.
"Hm..." She thought in between her bites on Ponko Chicken (the best chicken spot to live), "What if... what if He saw the light that He spread throughout the world? What if the whole world was the light that He left."
"Oh my! Yes!" This instantly made sense to me. For if we see the light of Jesus when we die, so would He see the light of Jesus.... radiating in the world.
She dropped the fork, "What if... what if that's what we see when we die?! The light we leave on the world? We see pockets of light gleaming from the world: all of the lives we touched, through Jesus."
This conversation has not left my mind since. I think I actually sat there for a few minutes, with my jaw dropped trying to take it in. Instantly I thought, wow, if that's true, I'm going to work to get more coverage than Verizon. To think that we spread light in that same way, through Jesus, is a beautiful thought. But to acknowledge that to spread light completely transforms lives, inspiring others to live lives of light... that was a transformative thought.
We Are What We Give
If you are a Christian, like I am, seeing Jesus as light is a very easy frame of mind. Though it may appear differently to others, I think there is something that we all share in common: if we feel light, we feel our burden is lifted off us. If there is light on us, we feel seen. If the light is turned on, we do not stand in darkness. If we feel a light on us, we feel warmth. Everyday, multiple times a day we turn on a light. Why? To help us see through darkness, to navigate our way. We may open a curtain and let light stream through to wake us up or lift our moods. During cold weather, we stand in the light to stay warm. Carrying heavy groceries, we ask for help, to feel light. All of this is "light", correct? Now what if we decide we want to spread light to the lives of others.
If we give light, we lift burdens off others. If we give light, we help others to be seen. If we give light, others do not stand in darkness. If we give light, others feel warmth. Everyday, multiple times a day we turn on our light. Why? To help others see through darkness, to navigate their way. To open the curtains of our heart and let our light stream through others to wake them up or lift their moods. During cold days, by giving light, we help others to stay warm. Carrying heavy burdens, we go to help, to help feel them light.
See, light is addictive. If we are carriers of light and we share that light to others, others then become carriers. And through our initial spread, we affect many more people than we could possibly imagine. Like a bad cold.
Light Is a Mustard Seed
With Verizon and AT&T it costs a lot of money to spread coverage. They have to build cellphone towers and do all this stuff that requires so much energy, I won't even get into it. (You can actually build your own cellphone tower for $150,000 according to steelintheair.com)
It takes a whole team of planning and billions of dollars just to spread their coverage a few more miles. Unlike AT&T and Verizon, all we have to do is plant a seed. I'm forreal. It doesn't cost anything to spread light and it's relatively low work.
The Bible talks to us about what it's like to spread light. Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV):
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches."
All we have to do, is take this mustard seed and plant it in the field around us. It's a small seed which requires low maintenance, takes maybe two seconds to plant, and we don't even need to worry about it growing.
This isn't to say that the Kingdom of Heaven is small, or rather, light is small, it's to say that the smallest amount
goes the furthest; to the point of it sprouting into a large tree and giving a home to birds which perch in its branches. We simply drop the seed and it grows. What was this small seed that we had in our possession, now grows in a field for all to share and see.
Imagine Your Coverage of Light
To look at giving light as an attainable thing that we can do daily for those we know and those we do not, is to look at light as a thing which grows to an extent that we cannot see. I say, let's choose to smile at others, to give a helping hand, to say "I love you", for our little seed goes a far way.
Imagine the coverage of light that will radiate in the world. Imagine, for a second, seeing light in that way when you die. Imagine taking a look at the world and seeing pockets of light in each life we've touched. Imagine the true impact you've left behind, to continue growing and spreading for generations to come, all because you chose to be an ambassador of that light.
When that time comes for me, I don't want to see the world dimmed by the baggage I carried but rather millions spots of light, covering the world, showing how I transformed the baggage into an outpour of love. It’s a daily conscious decision we have to make, but the daily work leads to the most coverage.
Thank you Kendall, once again, for letting me use our conversation to write a blog, you're the best.