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In October, I went to a recital for a friend (Something you need to know about music majors is that we're almost always going to recitals). I had to go to church that evening, so I was only able to stay for about half the recital. As is typical, she sang a set of French songs. I don't have the program in front of me, so I can't remember the name of the pieces, but I remember that one of the lines of text stood out to me -- so much so that I'm still thinking about it and pondering it a month later. The poet was describing the girl he loved, and one of the things he said of her was this: Elle est la jeune fille à l'âme toute claire. I speak some French, and literally, this sentence means, "She is the young girl of the soul all-bright." Idiomatically: "She is a bright-souled girl." What I wouldn't give to be known as the bright-souled girl.

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This small French sentence has inspired the entire way I want to relate and live. It's gently prompted me, with all the serenity of the French language, to ask myself if I live in such a way that others see light within me.

I want so much to be radiant. If I'm honest, part of me wants to be bright-souled because I think it makes me special. But really, the reason bright-souled-ness even exists is not so people can see me -- but so through me, others can see the light. Or, really, Light. With a capital L. And y'all, the light shines through, not onIt is in me, not on me. It's not a spotlight, harsh with glare. It's a soft inner glow.

I've been given a light to bear. I've been given the radiance of Christ to take into the world, cupped in my small, trembling hands, shining through my fair skin. I am in possession of a treasure, which I carry around in the earthenware that I am. And as light tends to do, it shines through my thin skin and lights me up a little bit -- and then a lot. My soul has actually become bright, truly -- because of the sacrifice of Christ.

But what I've begun to ask myself is Do I let other people see that light? Or am I too busy censoring myself?

I write a lot about light here. It's one of my favorite things about creation, but it's more than that: it's joy. It's warmth. It's beauty. It's simply shining and sparkling -- and I just adore all of those things.

I want to truly live the abundant life that Jesus has given me to live. Am I living it? Am I letting my soul shine as is its wont?

Am I rejoicing? Am I refusing to speak ill? Am I positive, optimistic? Do I extend warmth to everyone I meet -- regardless of how I happen to feel about them? And the big one that I've been thinking about a lot recently: am I talking about the One Who gives me light and life? Talking about it is part of the way I can be radiant, because it means I'm just so full that I cannot, for the life of me, shut up.

I want to be the bright-souled girl the poet wrote about. I want my entire personality to be one of glowing, of sunshine. I want to be radiant. And here's the deal: I have all the radiance within me. His Name is Jesus.

My job is to let it shine.

May I let it shine.

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