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The Kitchen Light

By Missey Butler
Guest Writer -- There are usually only a handful of people who truly make an indelible imprint on the pages of our lives. One of those people for me was a lady by the name of Shirley. She was one of those rare souls whose life was characterized by a giving nature and many selfless acts of love. When I spoke with her, she made me feel as if I were the most important person in the world. Whatever happened to be on my heart at the time was of utmost importance to her.

She always had time to listen.

She was so loved within the community. In fact, it was well known among her family and friends that whenever her kitchen light was burning, all who needed a friendly ear or an impartial voice were more than welcome to come in and join her. It mattered not what time of day or night it was, she always had a fresh pot of coffee brewing and an attentive ear waiting as she invited you to sit with her at the kitchen table.

Many of my girlfriends from high school would go and visit with her. They knew she had lots of wisdom and sage advice to give them about how to handle that difficult species called boys!

Shirley was truly a “light on a hill” for many people (Matthew 5:14). Whenever I would read that passage from the Bible, I couldn’t help but think about that very special lady who imparted so much to so many.

I especially think of her at Christmas time because she truly loved the season. Her kitchen was always filled with wonderful aromas and the mixing bowl never stopped humming. She had holiday cakes lined up on the counter top waiting to be iced and decorated as love offerings to family and friends.

I miss seeing her kitchen light burning softly there in the window. You see, that special lady was my mom.

She was quite a gift from God as my dad and we kids (her children) know only too well. She went on to be with the Lord many years ago. Even at her funeral, the light of her presence was there as different ones stood up and spoke about how powerfully she had impacted their lives by the example of her selfless love.

Yes, Shirley, (who I happened to be named after) left us with a beautiful example of what the Christ-life looks like. She left us with the legacy of her “kitchen light” that always glowed with the invitation to come and rest awhile as she encouraged us with a word in season and a smile that spoke of unconditional love.

Every year at Christmas time, I love to take in all the splendor of the grand illuminations of the neighborhood lights and candles so beautifully decorated for the approaching holidays. But none of them can compare to the wonderful memory of that soft glow of light that always burned brightly, lovingly... from the window of my mother’s kitchen.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14)

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