As a kid, I liked glitter. A lot. I still find myself drawn to anything that sparkles. My mother called me a crow given my attraction to all things shiny. I confess that even as an adult I covet those little kid shoes that light up with each step. I remember one Easter sunrise service, the church still mostly dark as worship had not yet started, when a child made his way to the front pew with red lights blinking from the soles of his feet the entire way up the aisle. I loved the idea of that little child being a literal light to the world, or at least a blip of intermittent hope to our small congregation yet to hear the news that Christ had risen indeed. Would that our discipleship was as obvious as red, flashing lights in the middle of a dark and silent sanctuary. If only we sparkled and shone like the unicorns, hearts and stars on kindergartners’ backpacks in September. Wouldn’t it be grand if we distributed God’s grace as far and wide, as insidious and relentless, as the glitter from a Sunday school art project?
I long for some over-the-top, well-past-tacky, impossible-to-miss signs of holy glory made evident through those of us called to be salt and light. I imagine Jesus saying, “You are the glitter of the world.” Get in every nook and cranny to the point that it is impossible to clean up or eradicate. Be so generous with it that years from now it will turn up on your shirt and be inconspicuously transported out into the neighborhood. What if Jesus had said, “You are the rhinestones of the earth”? Decorate indiscriminately. Make everyone appear to be the royal priesthood God made them to be. Tiaras all around! Be the bedazzlers of creation wielding fanciful, delightful, colorful additions to anyone in need of knowing their beauty. Make sure no denim jacket, plastic bin or cotton T-shirt goes without the adornment of the Most High God. Make the clothing of Christ glisten and shine like a parade of would-be Disney princesses lined up to see the latest “Frozen” movie.
I know we are dust and to dust we shall return, but in the interim, could we be Holy Ghost glitter? Could the shoes that make us ready to proclaim the gospel include blinking lights or at least some reflective tape? I want us to call attention to ourselves in order that we might point to the source of the light in which we bask and play. I want our complete joy to be unmistakable, as palpable as preschoolers sporting superhero costumes or Queen Elsa gowns, not concerned with what’s practical or socially acceptable but motived solely by delight.
I know we are sinners saved by grace, but in that knowledge, could we be the glow sticks of God, cracked open and shaken so that we shine and create whimsical patterns in the darkness for all to see? Might we be neon beacons of possibility in the middle of someone’s dark night of the soul?
I know we are beloved children and divine images called good, fallen, corrupt, finite and flawed. But, in this time could we be Jesus’ dollar-store jewelry, too — audacious, colorful, accessible, large and loud, unmissable outward signs of unfathomable, too often invisible grace?
How about if we thought of ourselves, honestly, as Holy Ghost dust, divine dirt, Godly grit, those who apart from saving grace are worthless fire fodder, but through the love of the Almighty are deemed priceless? What if we recognized that we are this strange combination of common and sacred, totally depraved but beloved anyway, complex kaleidoscopes of Christ whose beauty is revealed when viewed through the light of the world? Wouldn’t that realization be a source of rejoicing and celebration? Wouldn’t it be a cause to get out the glue sticks and spread the glitter, break out the glow sticks and wave them with abandon or don sparkles, crowns and light-up shoes to the grocery store? We could create a parade of the redeemed and reconciled, returning prodigals and found sheep, those whose faces shine from being in the presence of God.
Grace and peace,