Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shedding Light

Just as there are some people who make you feel good about yourself, there are others who, without saying a word, diminish you just by the type of person they are. Someone I know is extremely enthusiastic involved in community activities, friendly and talks easily to anyone. Yet I find this person so over the top that I am overwhelmed and end up shrinking in on myself whenever they are around. It’s not that I don’t like this person. I do and wish I could be more like her. It’s not the way God meant us to be, comparing ourselves with others. Yet she makes me feel inadequate. And it’s not even a conscious decision on my part. It just happens whenever we are in close proximity. Inadequacy and inferiority rears their ugly heads. It’s like this person sucks all the life and light out of me.

When it comes to light I admit to a fascination with lighthouses. Not that I would like to live in one. I’ve read a couple of books about it and it feels like an isolating experience. But there’s something about the whole concept of a lighthouse shining light into the darkness and being a beacon and warning to sailors of the dangers in the sea that presents a beautiful picture. Here is a photo of a lighthouse taken on a recent trip further down the south coast.

When I read the words of Jesus where He says ‘I am the light of the world,’ I tend to picture a lighthouse, standing tall and strong and straight, guiding people on the way with its shining light.

I’ve read a couple of books recently which have been amazing and yet disappointing in some ways. Largely in the language used and the way characters are presented.  While the story lines were interesting, it was a challenge to read books where the morals and language go against what I believe in.  However if the story line is compelling enough I will persevere despite my own reservations. That doesn’t stop me from commenting about what I perceive to be those negative aspects in a review though. You can find my reviews at Goodreads. This is one such review and sometimes I post reviews on my blog. believers may choose a different option. They may choose to read only Christian fiction or only nonfiction. But none of us should stand in judgement on another believer if they choose differently.

When it comes to my own writing, I believe I am called to present a different perspective to that presented by the world. That doesn’t mean writing sugar coated stories where no-one has any problems, but writing realistically about the world and providing some hope. Those who are called to be followers of Jesus are called to be different. Therefore what we choose to write about and the way we write it is also called to be different, like a lighthouse shining a beacon in the darkness. Would you agree? What are you doing to shine a light in the darkness of this world?
Streets on a Map, is now available from Amazon as an E book. Dale has had seven children’s books and Kaleidoscope a collection of poetry published. She has also written bible studies and Sunday school lessons. For several years she wrote about Christian living, marriage and home related topics More information about Dale can be found at or on her Write and Read with Dale blog


  1. Thanks, Dale, for another thoughtful blog. I hope my books shine a light for others in some way--I love it when readers bother to contact me and let me know this has happened for them. And I work hard to bring light through my speaking and to share the things I believe God has for me to say. I'm sure you're the same too.

  2. Hi Dale. I'm a very enthusiastic sort of person. I hope I'm not overwhelming!?!
    As a reader, I object to foul language in books, but I also find goody-goody two shoes heroines tedious. Right now I'm reading "Making His Way Home" by Kathryn Springer and she has done a terrific job of entertaining and shedding light at the same time.
    I regularly meet with two writing friends. One a non-believer, one a non-practising Christian, and me who's a full-on church-goer. One day we wrote out our goals as writers. I thought it interesting that each of us, in different ways, wanted our books to make a difference, to bring hope to our readers and make the world a better place. Whodda thunk it?

  3. I know just where you're coming from, Dale.
    I too, love the lighthouse image for the way I'd like my books to be perceived. And I also understand how we may feel unintentionally diminished, and then guilty on top as we wonder whether this is just us.
    I'm willing to overlook the occasional colourful language from characters in heated moments but agree that too many very popular books have these words in every bit of dialogue they can squeeze into.

  4. I love the lighthouse image, but I also love the old hymn "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning" as a more realistic goal for my writing and speaking. I hope to shed a little light in this world.

  5. Hopefully the site will let me through to reply this time. I tried a couple of times the other day.Thanks Jo-Anne, Alice, Paula and Judith for comments. I'm sure you're not overwhelming Alice. Like you and Paula I can cope with a little language (if I have to) if in context but when it is over the top I object. Hopefully we each shed light in our own ways.