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Shining the Lamp

The following article is my answer to The Sandbox Writing Challenge — Exercise 7




Kelvin M. Knight

What makes me shine?

I am never aware people see that light shining within me. I am not truly aware I see that light shining in me. I know it’s there, in times of reflection, I feel it’s there, deep inside, part of my being, part of my whole, that light coming from my soul.

But life is not solely about reflection. Life is about action. Life is doing and making a difference. Life is the here and now of our existence. When I smile do people see that light in my eyes? When I laugh do people hear that light? When I write my stories, these articles, is that light illuminating my words and their true meaning? Or are people just too busy getting on with the business of their lives, ticking those boxes, until that next holiday arrives?

That sounds judgemental. I am meant to be non-judgemental. I am meant to be accepting.

I accept that when I am down a hole, shoulder to shoulder with people who have asked for my support, who need my encouragement as they face those demons that have become themselves, smiling and laughing are the furthest things from my mind. Yet that is when I must shine my brightest to help these individuals find hope, to help them find a reason to continue, if only for another day.

But if I spent my life living down those holes we make of our lives, what about my life? I cannot spend my life helping other people all the time, can I? Surely the stresses and strains of such a life would eventually take their toll on me, my wife, my family?

I shine in adversity. This much I know. I should shine in everyday life. Other people should see me shining when I smile, when I laugh, when I sing. They should. I should. That is when happiness becomes joyfulness. If I was authentic, if these parts of my life were integrated, joyfulness would flow through me, would overflow from me, and effect all those around me. Wouldn’t they? Couldn’t they?

Or could I have this all wrong. Perhaps I am shining how and when and where I am meant to shine. Perhaps joyfulness, for me, is overrated, after all, the biggest miracle of all is a smile, a smile on me and a smile inside me. A smile which lights the world, especially when the darkness in this world does not light a smile.



First and foremost I am a reader, then a storyteller. My reading tastes are eclectic. My writing can focus around the intimacy of closed settings and may tend towards characters who might be hiding something from themselves.

10 thoughts on “Shining the Lamp

  1. I get this. Sometimes trying to ‘shine’ and stay positive in order to help can be depleting….I actually had to leave a widows group I was in because the pain was so raw and intense and so far off where I am in my journey I couldn’t remain. I found myself feeling guilty for being ok…..I so wanted to be a source of hope for them but found their anger and bitterness to be overwhelming……leaving has me feeling guilty as well……I’m sorry I went on Kelvin……May our light continue to shine and touch others!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Kelvin
    I’m sorry that you seem to be missing joy in your life at present. As you realise, authenticity is very important. I’ve learned that the hard way, but now that I live authentically I am happy, and not infrequently joyful. Another important factor is thankfulness. I give thanks every day for being alive in God’s beautiful world. Gratitude prompts joy.
    You probably realise these suggestions already, but I offer them in case they could help.
    And if ever you want to talk off-blog, you’re very welcome to email me on
    With best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Penny

      It is so gracious and brave of you to remind me of these things for. which I am truly grateful – and for the kind kind offer of an off grid chat which I may very well take thee up on!

      May God continue to bless you in all you think, say, pray and do, Penny.



      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelvin, this is one of the best posts I’ve read in ages! “But if I spent my life living down those holes we make of our lives, what about my life? I cannot spend my life helping other people all the time, can I? Surely the stresses and strains of such a life would eventually take their toll on me, my wife, my family?” My son Brandon and I were just talking about this very thing, He’s studying to become a local pastor and has recently realized how many people are unhappy and need to talk or need advice. Last week there was someone in his office every day needing to unload — about marriages, impending births, even immigration status. And he got pooped. We came to the conclusion that there has to be a balance and a place or space where he (and you) can get your soul fed. Otherwise you will have nothing to give to anyone else — especially your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a tear stirring comment. I love the honesty and openness in your response. I hope your son discovers that right balance but is never afraid to tip that balance either, as God always provides for us and never gives us anything we cannot cope with.

      Liked by 1 person

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