Darkness or Light

Josh Wanner40DOD, Devotions

Today’s reading: Romans 14:1-12; Genesis 1:3-4

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat.

Romans 14:10

As we traveled to church one Sunday morning, at the corner of Kansas Avenue and Battlefield Road stood a person with a sign that read “anything will help.” I recall taking in the surroundings and noticing a white conversion van, pretty beat up – had probably seen better days – that appeared to be stuffed to the gills with belongings. As we rounded the corner, I said to my husband, “He has his entire life in that van.” And continued to drive by.

It is common to see folks calling out for food, money, clothing, or shelter by way of standing on a street corner. My curiosity always piques thinking about their life, situation, what has happened to them to put them in a spot to be asking for help in such a visible way. I, along with friends, family, and well-intentioned people have said things like – “I’m not giving them money; all they are going to do is use it to buy alcohol.”

Although a dollar doesn’t buy much these days, two dollars can get you a bottle of water. Two dollars and a note expressing the love of Christ may very well save the life of that neighbor. As we look to serve – show others our Christian love – let us not shine darkness (judgement) onto others – but shine the light (love) of the Lord. Let us be the ones to lift others up – to hold them in the light of the Lord and encourage them to shine, just as God made them.


Dear Lord, thank you for giving each of us your unconditional love through your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to remember the light we can shine on others through the work of your Holy Spirit. Lead us in ways to serve all in our community, including our neighbors who find themselves on street corners, and show them how loved they are by You.

Contributed by Alisa Gates