Sometimes we don’t make a difference in the lives of the people we wish we could. But it’s okay, because sometimes we make a difference to others without even knowing it. The ones I wish would read this and get something from it probably never will. But maybe it will still mean something to someone else.
Daylight. A song by Shinedown on their new album Planet Zero. When I first heard it last year I thought, “Well, Shinedown has made yet another song I feel completely.” How do they do that? So many of their songs feel like something I could have written because it’s something I’ve been through or something I’ve dealt with or something I’ve felt so strongly, too. Right now, Daylight means even more to me than ever. I’m coming to understand the importance of these lines:
It's amazing what the hard times can reveal,
Like who shows up, who walks away and who's for real.
How often do we let anger, selfishness or pettiness cause us to walk away from someone? Even when someone ends up suffering because of their own mistakes or sins, it doesn’t mean it’s okay to turn our back on them. I’m sure as hell not perfect, but I try to live my life the way Christ did—the way he would want me to live. Christ spent His life among the sinners. He didn’t spend it with the “righteous” people because those so-called righteous people were just a bunch of hypocrites. So, He walked among the “unclean”, teaching them and making a difference in their lives. I have seen the way His light and Spirit work among “sinners” today, teaching them and making a difference in their lives, just like Christ did when He was on the earth.
So why should I turn my back on them? I’m not talking about people who are toxic or continually abusive. It’s okay to have boundaries or walk away from people who refuse to acknowledge their own toxic and abusive behavior—who refuse to do anything about it. I’m talking about not giving into anger. I’m talking about not giving into selfishness. I’m talking about forgiveness. I’m talking about being there for people who have made mistakes—even huge ones—when they acknowledge it and are doing their best to change and overcome. I’m sure that’s what Christ would have done. I’m sure because that is what He did time after time after time.
Everyone deserves love and compassion. Everyone deserves another chance. Everyone deserves someone who will be there for them and have their back through difficult times. Like Daylight says, those difficult times reveal who truly loves and cares about you, who’s there for you, and it reveals who never really cared about you, who’s not for you and who’s just fake. As hard as it is, sometimes we all need that truth.
I’m grateful for the people who have truly been there for me. And I’m grateful I get the opportunity to show the ones I love that I’m there for them. I’m grateful I can be the daylight in their darkness. Because they are worth it.