Light. When we look at it from a religious perspective light is something we all possess. Everyone has been created by God so everyone shares in the light of God. The thing about that is that it does not matter if you are a Catholic Christian, a Jew, Hindu, Muslim, atheist or another of the many other Christian denomination, all people have been created by God so all people share in the light of God. It is a difficult concept for anyone to embrace to think that a person, or people, that they do not like has any connection to God whatsoever. The great thing about the light that we all have courtesy of God is that it is a freely given gift. Even if someone does not believe in the being called God the light is still present.
Since we all have that light of God given to us at our creation we are all called to shine brightly in this world. To shine before men…and women is a choice even though it is commanded of all of us by virtue of God giving us that light. No matter what we do or the choices that we make, (sin and evil), that light is never extinguished. It is true that there are some people that try mightily to snuff that inner-light, which glows in all of us, out. But that light is from God so can never be extinguished.
The illumination that we all have received from God can be dirtied and appear dimmed by our choices in this passing life. When we choose to wallow in the filth that is sin and when we choose to lead other people into sin God’s light inside of us cannot shine brightly. Is that what is meant by the parable told by Jesus about hiding our light under a bushel? That can be one interpretation. Another way to hide the light, which is our birthright, under a bushel is by living in our own pain and brokenness and not moving forward with God and seeking God’s healing for all of our trauma.
Whether we want to face reality or not abuse is an issue that can cause someone to retreat under that bushel that Jesus talks about in the New Testament. No matter what type of abuse a person has been subjected to the results are the same…and the results are devastating. As much as we may want to wish it away abuse crosses all socioeconomic, gender, religious and every other barrier that can be named. It is sad to think about the massive number of people who are hiding their light because of shame or because they do not know where to go for help or because they are afraid. Fear, anger and mistrust of others keeps so many people from allowing their light to shine before men.
Anyone who has survived any type of abuse at the hands of anyone is negatively effected in living their lives. If you are hiding your light under a bushel because of that abuse you are required by faith to remedy that situation. If your abuser has been a member of the Church, that same Church has proven over and over again, (at least some people in the Church), that they will not help you. Wouldn’t God want the men who have been put in charge of local Churches all over the world to be instruments of healing? Remember it has been the shame of the Church that abuse at the hands of clergy even happened, (not just the sexual abuse of minors but also arrogance in dealing with many broken & hurting people).
Woe to those who stand in the way of healing. Woe to those who have abused others and caused them to retreat under a bushel hiding the light that was given to them by God. Woe to those who advocate destroying life in the womb thus destroying the person that God gave life and God gave light to…the ultimate abuse.