Give hope (Day 24 of #24DaysofGiving)

16678296344_4380229e7f_zCollectively and individually, the world and its people move through cycles of darkness and light. We do this daily with the passing of day into night. We do this monthly with the waxing and waning of the moon. And we also do this twice a year as the sun’s motion in declination marks the winter and summer solstice time.

What most people feel most, however, are the times of darkness and light present in the human soul. We feel this collectively and also on a very personal level. Many feel that right now we are moving through a particularly dark period in our history, where bigotry, racism, hatred and violence are on the rise in our local and global communities.

And yet, in the darkness a light is always glowing somewhere. Our scriptures, songs and celebrations this season all honor the hope and promise that light represents, whether it is the Bethlehem star telling the Wise Men where to look for their Savior, the oil in the temple lamp that miraculously lasted 8 nights, the Yule log lit for Winter Solstice and Christmas Eve, or the kinara used to hold the seven candles representing the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Each of these lights represent a cherished desire for a good outcome in the midst of fear, uncertainty or loss.

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. – Desmond Tutu

Light your lamp. Share your glow with those who can’t see their way through the darkness. Be a spark that ignites the light in others. In your actions, words and presence, give hope to all you meet that the world is a beautiful, loving place, full of possibility and goodness. Each of us shining a light for others becomes part of the miracle and wonder of the season.

Feel free to share your experience or your creative suggestions. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, share using the #24daysofgiving hashtag. Let’s spread some love and good cheer!

Did you miss a day?

Day 1: Give yourself 5 minutes

Day 2: Give someone your attention

Day 3: Give time to a worthy cause

Day 4: Give someone a helping hand

Day 5: Give a cup of coffee or tea

Day 6: Give 3 words of love

Day 7: Give a handwritten note

Day 8: Give hugs

Day 9: Give blessings

Day 10: ForGIVEness for yourself and others

Day 11: Give yourself permission to say no

Day 12: Give yourself space to let the light in

Day 13: Give a nice greeting

Day 14: Give yourself a day off

Day 15: Give words of encouragement

Day 16: Give in to wonderment

Day 17: Give your light to others

Day 18: Give someone a meal

Day 19: Give a kind word

Day 20: Give yourself a treat

Day 21: Give a prayer

Day 22: Give a thumbs up

Day 23: Give up what no longer serves you

#24daysofgiving is an Advent experiment in being called to come into being through the practices of love and compassion, while reflecting on the coming of Christ into the world.

(Image credit: lngagnon2002 on Flickr)

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