A man was left a large inheritance from a father he barely knew. His father had been a shrewd businessman and exploited opportunities to increase his income wherever he could. More than once he was taken to court for his unethical practices, but had always escaped any consequences.
As a boy he learned very early that his father was not interested in him or his life. He was given lavish gifts on rare occasions and rarely spent more than an hour or two with him. He had lots of excuses why he could not see his son more and was often distracted by phone calls or other business. It bothered the boy that he had no father figure in his life, but kept the feelings hidden except to one person.
His best friend was a scrawny girl who showed him what courage really was. She knew the truth about how he felt about his father. They often played on their street after school and had many pretend adventures, until at the age of ten her family moved away. The two friends stayed in contact for the first few years, but eventually the distance made it a challenge and the friendship ended. In his teen years he was awkward and shy with very few dates or friends.
As a very young man, he found himself the sole heir to a large fortune and he felt very alone. Acquaintances were unexpectedly nice to him because they wanted the power his money brought, or the advantages it would give them. When he realized this he became withdrawn and secretive, even with his own mother. He gave her a bank account and figured she could finally have a life of her own without caring for him. She persisted in reaching out to her son, so he pulled away. He looked for and found an island where he could live without anyone bothering him.
Alone on his island with only a few attendants, he became quite lonely and asked his mother to visit. She explained that she was in a serious relationship, but would visit him at Christmas. He invited his mother’s fiancé for the visit and they had a nice time together. As the young man watched his mother smiling at her fiancé across the table, he realized he didn’t like being so alone. He thought of his old friend and tried without success to find her. After a year of searching he was finally able to locate her.
He sent her a message to invite her and anyone she wished to visit him at her convenience. He explained his situation in a few short sentences, and hoped it was enough. The young lady was unsure of what to say, and made no reply. After he heard nothing back, he sent another message. This time he asked whether she still thought of him as a friend. She replied and assured him that she was still his friend, but was not proud of her situation. Her circumstances had been difficult and she didn’t want to admit that she wasn’t courageous anymore.
A few days later a knock at her door was met by a familiar face. The loneliness in his eyes was real enough to let her old friend in, uneasy as she was. Everything was a mess, and her children were at their worst. He seemed to brighten when she invited him in, as if all that mattered in the world was to see her again. After a short, uncomfortable conversation, she relaxed and said goodbye as he left. He had not pressed her for anything, but seemed much happier. After a month he sent another message, inviting her to visit him. This time, she accepted and agreed to a short visit.
—————Thoughts that motivated this story—————
In this story I wanted to reflect on a self-imposed high standard
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. - KJV
16 Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. – ASV
In Matthew 5:16 Jesus continues the word picture for His audience about light. They are to let what light they have shine forth and be seen. It is through good works and deeds that this light is seen. Those deeds must in turn give the world a reason to glorify our Father who is in heaven and not the person who did the deeds. Many people want glory or respect, but if so that is their reward as it was not sincere.
I read this as our reflection of Jesus’ light. I was once as the prophecy described earlier, one of the people sitting in darkness and I had grown used to that. I didn’t see anything wrong with where I was, but I noticed someone who had something different about them and it made me curious. At the time I wondered if the person reminded me of my deceased father, or what it was. I know now that it was the light of Christ that I noticed.
The person had faults and even offended me. Still, the light they reflected was evident and the reason I asked questions which eventually led me to believe in Jesus. Like the young lady in this story, we sometimes think we must be ‘presentable’ before God can use us. Jesus calls but does not demand and willingly taught those who would listen. Rather than being perfect, we can be real and still be used to glorify God. As I remember this, I am determined to “let” His light shine without first expecting perfection in myself.