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Jesus and glitter


A cross-cultural worker in the Middle East writes about being light in dark places from her hospital bed in the ICU. Hear what she has to say about what Jesus and glitter have in common.

As Jesus followers in the world, we bring good news. We carry the kingdom of God with us. When we walk into coffee shops, Jesus walks in with us. When I walk around my neighborhood, I am not on that stroll alone. When I look around and see places where people are hurting, in need, sad, and angry, I know that Jesus sees them, too.

In light of this reality, the team I serve with in the Middle East has been discussing how we can be more intentional about blessing our neighborhood, the places where we work, and this country we love living in. We have become purposeful about speaking words of life to people, places, and situations, rather than focusing on negative aspects of life here.

If you have ever been in a primary school classroom and had the privilege of crafting with glitter, you will fully understand the extent to which it has an ability to make its presence known in places it was never originally intended to be. To me, the kingdom of God is like glitter.

I wake up in the morning and come in to God’s presence. He shines His goodness as we talk, pray, and read, and then I take all of His glittering goodness with me as I go about my day. Through the day, it just sticks places I didn’t expect it to. Sometimes I’m aware of it, like taking a minute to just pour it out through words, actions, or prayer. Sometimes I find out later that I unintentionally left it behind and someone has been affected by God’s goodness.

I was in the ICU last week. For the last month, what I thought was pneumonia turned out to be a pulmonary embolism. I had blood clots in my lungs taking up valuable real estate, and my heart was not happy about it.

In the middle of a situation that was serious and life threatening, I just kept thinking about that glitter. Laughter and joy is uncommon in the ICU, but it just kept spilling out. Nurses and doctors took notice of my sweet community that gathered around and became my family away from home. The staff commented on the happiness and the lack of fear I exhibited. Nurses sat down and told me their life stories, their dreams, and their fears. I was invited to family homes when I left the hospital. I prayed for the people around me in their various stages of illness. It was glitter spreading in unexpected places. I would not have chosen to be in the ICU, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to share Jesus’ love in that dark place.

This is what Jesus has called us to do. He interrupted people’s lives and then gave them something far greater than they even knew to ask for—wholeness, life, and a relationship with the Father. We bring good news! Throw that glitter!