Last week, I mentioned the three elements that draw people into a life of faith: beauty, truth and goodness. Having ruminated a bit on beauty already, I’ll explore goodness as it relates to my Lenten journey.
The first entry in one of my Lenten reads, Moments of Grace, contains an account of author Al Kresta’s interview with Norma McCorvey, otherwise known as “Roe” from the historic court case, Roe v. Wade. When asked by Al what drew her to the faith, McCorvey, a convert to Catholicism, replied: “To put it simply, Al, I saw all the Catholics coming out to the abortion mill [to prayerfully protest]…and they were so reverent. They just glowed. It really won my heart.”
The glow of faith — I’ve seen it before myself, namely on the faces of those who have led me closer to God. This glow, I believe, comes from an inner goodness, a connection to the Divine. Though some liken reverence to arrogance, true reverence hints not at snobbery but humility. It is an acknowledgment of who we are and to whom we belong.
This glow, which comes from goodness, is powerfully alluring; enough for a staunch abortion activist to drop her concrete-heavy guard and be led to faith.
But what gives goodness such power? To me, this glow is the natural result of a sincere desire to follow God’s plan and not our own. Once we’ve truly surrendered our will to God’s, everything changes. Everything. And once we allow that reality to penetrate us, that glow of goodness simply finds a place within us. We not only emit it from within ourselves, but we begin to see it in others, too.
There are days I feel the glow of Christ emanating from my soul out into the world. It’s an amazing thing to feel that connection, that love, that sweet surrender of faith. I have to be honest, too, and admit that some days, it’s more fleeting than others. It is a glow, but not always constant. It won’t be until the next world that our glow will be consistent.
There’s a song, “And They’ll Know We Are Christians by our Love.” How will they know? The glow of faith and the good that we do because of it. In its truest form, goodness is a visible reality.
Those who hold their faith dear, who try daily to die to self in order to let God’s light shine, cannot help but manifest light. “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” It’s no coincidence that before presenting any other aspect of His creation, God brought light into the world – His goodness.
I have this vision that when the creatures of heaven look down upon the earth, they recognize us individually not by what we look like — our outward appearances — but by the light we emit. Our individual glow is in direct proportion to our goodness. And even though we fail daily in reaching perfection, our desire to do good plays a part in the intensity of our individual, unique glow.
I want to die with a smile on my face, and I want those who see me for the last time on earth to know, by the aura I emit, that above all else I sought to please God. Certainly, I’m not close to attaining that yet, but I have faith that if I do my best at what I’m meant to do with my remaining time here, despite all the particular obstacles I face, this will come to pass. Each day offers a brand-new opportunity to reach this goal. It is a constant drawing toward (even through stumbling most days) the Divine Light.
I do know this much: the more I let go, the more I glow. The more I step aside and let God’s light illuminate my life, the more vibrant the light within me.
May you, too, seek the glow of goodness, for goodness sake. And someday, when it’s time, may you die with the glow of love emanating from within you!
[Note: Peace Garden Mama’s first-Wednesday “Spotlight’s On…” feature will be posted next Wednesday instead of this week. Come back to meet Maria de Lourdes Ruiz Scaperlanda, who will share her insights on mothering, faith and the writing life.]