Let the LIGHT In!

colorful sunset

People being gunned down.

Government shutdowns.

Families in financial crisis.

Politicians calling each other names.

Increasing assaults on religious freedoms.

All of this and more overflow us. On the news. Over the Internet. In our conversations. It would be so easy to think these ugly things are all there is of life nowadays. To feel sad and angry and hopeless…

Which is why you are so important to the world! Writers, we need you! We’re desperate for clear, bold voices that speak truth and hope into the chaos. Whether through blogs or articles, books or letters, Tweets or Puns, shares or posts…whatever you use to share God’s message of love and hope, know–KNOW–that it makes a difference.

Years ago I went to the majestic Oregon caves. About midway through the guided walk they stopped us–and turned off the lights. I’d never been in such absolute, engulfing darkness before. It was terrifying! I could swear the darkness was suffocating me! And then–thank You, Lord!–a glimmer of light. The guide had turned on a tiny penlight, and the effect was stunning. Darkness seemed to flee, taking fear with it. That tiny light reached out, spread, and brought blessed relief.

That’s the impact of your words, my friends, in this troubled world.

Never doubt it.

27 Responses to Let the LIGHT In!

  1. Ron Estrada October 2, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    Well said, Karen. I’ve been so dismayed at the absolute hopelessness that seems to shroud this country. I stopped writng to get involved with politics and I’m here to tell you that doesn’t help. When I came back to the writing, I knew this is where God wants me. If I can shine the light of Christ for just one person to see, then my efforts are not wasted. Thanks again for another inspiring post. By the way, I did the cave tour in Kentucky (actually on our way to ACFW in ’05) and they turn the lights out for you as well. It is amazing how much difference just a little point of light can make.

  2. Louise M. Gouge October 2, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Just what I needed today, Karen. Thanks.

  3. Angie Dicken October 2, 2013 at 5:16 am #

    I LOVE this post, Karen! AMEN! This world IS dark, and we are blessed to be light-bearers with our writing gifts. Even in the tiny penlight we can shine BRIGHT!

  4. Lancia E. Smith October 2, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    Karen, the word picture you give here is beautiful and effective. As the world gets darker it is indeed hard to remember that goodness does still exist, kind words are spoken, help is offered, hope defeats despair. The darkness has not overcome the Light. In the gloom of the world good deeds and good words shine out all the brighter. Thank you for turning the pen-light for your readers this morning.

  5. Julie Sunne October 2, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    Perfect post for unsettling times! Thanks, Karen.

  6. rudy martinka October 2, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    while writing about goodness and kindness lifts one’s spirit for a time, reality qickly returns. My sugestion is to face reality that our country is in crisis and we all need to get personally involved to effect a solution to end a problem. Actions speak louder than words. Painting a rosy picture won’t stop the rumble in a starving stomach. A donation to a worthy cause will help if that is all you are physically capable of doing.

  7. Cheryl Barker October 2, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    Isn’t it an amazing privilege when our words provide that ray of light to others? Thanks for the reminder, Karen. (So nice getting to meet you and sit under your teaching at Maranatha last week. What a great conference!)

  8. Amber Perry October 2, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Karen! Thank you for this inspiring post. I loved your story about the Oregon caves. I too have been there, and I remember the stifling darkness. What a great reminder about the importance of writing with God’s light so we can help those in darkness. God bless!

  9. Ane Mulligan October 2, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    I love this and embrace it as confirmation of what I already knew. We’re called to be those tiny lights, planting seeds of truth in our fiction to reach a lost world. Thanks, Karen, for illustrating it so beautifully!

  10. Martha Rogers October 2, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Thank you, Karen. I was in a similar situation in Carlsbad Caverns many years ago. We sat down in a large space below the earth and the lights went out. Total, utter darkness that took the breath right out of me. The guide had given tiny numbered flashlights to several people as we began the tour. As he counted, the tiny lights came on one by one until we could see our circle of tourists. It gave the perfect picture of how one light can spread and become many as we share the gospel.

    Thanks for the reminder, I had almost forgotten that experience and how important each individual is in spreading the light.

  11. Grace Fox October 2, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Amen, Karen. Last weekend I experienced a tad of the enemy’s venom through the angry words of a deeply wounded woman. Several other women joined me in an intervention and prayer time on her behalf. That scenario left me with a renewed understanding of the battle raging for people’s souls. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against a very real enemy who’s bent on destruction.

    Yesterday morning during my prayer time, I got a sense that maybe I ought to pray bolder, bigger prayers regarding the expanse of my writing and speaking ministry. Millions of people are out there and struggling with pain, despair, fear, and a myriad of other concerns. They desperately need to know the Truth so they can walk in freedom. I feel like encouraging all Christian writers today — “Rise up! Let’s push back the darkness in the power of Jesus name! Let’s pray bolder, bigger prayers and expect God for a breakthrough in getting the Good News out using the communication gifts He’s given us!”

  12. Sondra Kraak October 2, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Thank you, Karen, for the hope you infuse in my weariness as a writer. It’s easy to lose sight of the LIGHT when bogged down in news and struggling manuscripts! YOUR words are encouraging to us writers.

  13. Meghan Carver October 2, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Thank you, Karen, for your encouragement in this unsettling week.

  14. Jennifer Zarifeh Major October 2, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    LOVED this, Karen, thank you.

  15. Jenny Leo October 2, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    I’m printing this out and posting it somewhere where I can see it often. Thanks, Karen!

  16. Marci Seither October 2, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Thanks..so needed and back to basic..”Hide it under a bush…ooh no. I’m gonna let it shine!”
    Thanks for being a beacon.

  17. Janette Lemme' October 2, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    So true. I had the same darkness vs. light experience in the cave in Carlsbad. It’s such a good analogy of God’s truth lighting our way in a dark and dangerous world. Thanks for reminding me of that vivid experience.

  18. Michelle October 2, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Thank you for this kick in the pants. Per your encouragement I posted this an article called Government Shutdowns: Hope for Crippling Fear. Follow my the link to my site.

    I just signed up for your updates, so keep it coming!

  19. Connie Almony October 2, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Aw! I love that! Like shining a light on my day :o).

  20. Peter DeHaan October 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    …and there was light and the light was good!

  21. Sherida Stewart October 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Thank you for this post. Last Sunday our pastor reminded us that we are to be the vessels for His light. As a writer, I want to shine His light to all!

  22. LIZ October 2, 2013 at 8:44 pm #


  23. Patti Jo Moore October 3, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    AMEN, Karen! WE are that “tiny light” for others—to show them God’s Light—and give hope to this fallen world. Thank you so much for sharing these very timely thoughts with us. God bless you! :)

  24. Elizabeth Oates October 3, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Such encouraging words, Karen! Sometimes I wonder if anyone is reading what I’m writing, but your post reminded me that the issue is not readers. The issue is living as a light in this dark world. Thank you for reminding me of this truth.

  25. Meadow Merrill October 7, 2013 at 2:39 am #

    Absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful way to start my writing day. Now I sit down to write the light.

  26. Mary October 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Karen, your post reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode from the 60s(?)… a mysterious darkness was spreading over the United States, and indeed, over the entire world. No one had an answer for it, but with every news report of a lynching, for example, the darkness deepened. I first saw that episode when I was in college, and the thought that immediately came to mind was: “And the light shined in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it.”

    No matter how dark our days get, God is still God, and He’s still in charge. I tend to forget that, sometimes. Thanks for the reminder. :-)


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