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A Light on the Hilltop

January 6, 2015


“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.  God is not a secret to be kept.  We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.  If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?  No.  I’m putting you on a light stand.  Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!  Keep open house; be generous with your lives.  By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, our generous Father in heaven.”  

(Matthew 5:14-16)


On April 8, 2012, a light was born.

Just hours after his birth, his parents wrapped him in a blanket and placed him beside a road in rural China.  Then, they disappeared.

The light began to dim.  And it was in danger of being snuffed out completely.

Thankfully, a local villager spotted him.  He had caught a glimpse of a small, squirming bundle beside the road and decided to investigate.  Upon discovering that it was a newborn baby boy, he scooped up the bundle and notified the local authorities about his discovery.

An ad was placed in the local newspaper, along with a photo of the baby boy.

The villager who had found him took him into his home and cared for him.

For one month, he watched over him.

For one month, he kept the light burning.

For one month, he and the local authorities waited for his birth parents to come forward.

They never did.

At this point, the villager handed the baby boy over to the local orphanage.  The one-on-one attention that he had received during his first month of life had come to an end.  His new life had begun.  It was a life in an institution that was understaffed and overflowing with children.

But, his light continued to shine.

His caretakers took note of the light.

While others frowned, he smiled.

Though his body was weak and frail, and the disease that ravaged his body continued to remain untreated, he continued to smile.

He was bright and cheerful.

He was charming.

He was warm.

He stood out among the crowd.

He was a light….to the caretakers and to the other precious orphans around him.  But, his light could only reach so far.  It was hidden inside the four walls of an orphanage in rural China.

For two years, he stayed within those four walls.  Trips to the local hospital were his only escape.  And those trips were few and far between.

For two years, he was essentially a light-bearer living inside of a bucket.

No one.  No one, except for a handful of orphanage workers and a few dozen children had ever seen his light.  But, even though his light was hidden from the outside world, it wasn’t hidden from God.  And God must have known that this sweet, smiling boy – this light – had the potential to shine so brightly….and bring out the God-colors all around him.

So, God said, “No more!”

On the other side of the world, he had softened and prepared the hearts of two ordinary people to go out in search of this little light.

He had opened my mind, and Bryan’s mind, to the possibility of adding another child into our family.  He began clearing the way for us to adopt.  He made the path as straight and smooth as possible for us to find this light.

And we did find him.

We found him, and, by the grace of God, we were able to remove him from those four walls.  We were able to remove him from that bucket that kept his light hidden from the world.  We brought him home as our son, and placed him on a light stand on a hilltop.  And from that hilltop, he has been shining fully and brightly from the moment that he arrived home.  What a joy it has been to watch him finally be able to shine his beautiful light….out in the open….for all to see.

Now, today, we stand in awe of all that God has done in and through this light that He has brought to us.  Though he has only been home for eight short months, he has already touched the lives of so many.  And we know that he will continue to touch the lives of many, many more.

Almost two years ago, we set out on a journey to simply expand our family through the miracle of adoption.  We wanted to shine our light by adopting a little boy from China.  In doing so, we hoped that we might be a light not only to that little boy, but also to the world around us as well.  But, an amazing thing has happened as a result of our son’s entrance into our family.  We have come to the realization that our purpose on this earth is not just to be a light to the world.  Our purpose is also to seek out any and every way possible to allow others to be the lights that they were intended to be.

In an attempt to shine our light through the adoption of our son, we were given the opportunity to remove a beautiful, radiant light from the four dingy walls of an orphanage and allow him to fully shine from a hilltop.  When I look back on all that has happened because of Haven’s journey into our family, I can see that the greatest good has not come from our attempt to let our light shine.  The greatest good has come from the fact that we allowed Haven the opportunity to shine his light.  A light that was once hidden under a bucket.

What a beautiful, unexpected gift that has been.

What a sense of fulfillment that has brought to us.

Just think about that for a moment, friends.  Your greatest deeds in this life might not come directly through you at all.  Your greatest deeds might actually come through someone else….someone whose light you were able to ignite or reveal to the world.

Think about that for a moment.

I don’t know about you, but I find that to be incredibly exciting!

Yes, each and every day, we are presented with opportunities to shine our light.  But, we are also constantly being presented with opportunities (both big and small) to help someone else be the light that they were intended to be.

We are light-bearers.  And this life is about letting our light shine.

It is about shining the light we have been given….each and every day….into a dark and weary world.

It is about throwing little beams of light out from a hilltop in order to bring out the God-colors all around us.

And, as Haven has shown us in recent months, it is also about finding ways to help others do the same.


“How far a little candle throws his beams!  So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

(William Shakespeare)











One Comment leave one →
  1. January 6, 2015 4:26 am

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful reflection on Haven. It will help his light shine even more broadly than before!

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