SummaryParents pass on the light of faith in surprising ways. Seton grad Ashlynn Fayth Smith recounts how one mother used a “little thing” to inspire her children.
Thunder rumbled, lightning flashed, and torrents of rain poured down the windows.
During this stormy June night, I sat on my bed trying to finish my end-of-the-year schoolwork by lamplight. As the wind howled, my lamplight turned brown, and then black. I stumbled into my parents’ room through the darkness.
The sight that my eyes beheld seemed to be taken from a scene of The Sound of Music. There, in the glow of the flashlight, was my beautiful Mom in her bed with my two younger brothers snuggled up on either side of her. Instead of a chorus of My Favorite Things, my Mom was softly singing This Little Light of Mine. A wave of nostalgia hit me, as I joined the snuggle.
I was taken back to another stormy night that seemed so long ago. The Texas tornado sirens had gone off, and a beautiful young woman was sitting in her downstairs bathtub. Two little girls were snuggled up against her sides, and the third and smallest girl drifted in and out of sleep in her lap. The young Mother’s husband was away on a business trip, and her three little girls were terrified.
She knew it was up to her to be strong for her daughters’ sakes, as the raging storm around them threatened to destroy their safety. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”
The sound of our Mom’s singing instantly soothed my older sisters and I, and it did not take long for us to join her. The storm continued, but we did not let Satan blow it out, we let our light shine.
Our power came back on, and I was brought back to the present day. I reflected on how safe I had felt during all those past tornado warnings, only because of my Mom’s singing. Even to this day, hearing her sing that same song makes me feel safe and warm.
The Storms of Life
As I grow older, it is no longer the physical storms that frighten me, but the storms of life. My Mom’s song sank deeper than the soothing feeling it was intended for. The world today does not like me, nor my God, and though it pretends to care about me, it really does not. As a result, I wage a constant war against the storms of life. Sometimes, I am strong, and yet more often I feel as though maybe it would be better to hide my light under a bushel.
Why not? The world does not want it anyway. What’s the use? Then, quite suddenly, I hear the soft singing of my Mom in the back of my head, “Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna let it shine!” My hope and vigor are renewed, and once again I have the upper hand in the battle against the storm.
The Unappreciated Little Things
Most parents are tempted to believe that the little things they do in their children’s lives do not mean anything, or will forever go unappreciated. My Mom’s song was in the moment a little thing.
Yet, that little thing grew and blossomed within my heart, and helped to shape me into the godly young lady I was intended to be. Wisdom is priceless, and even more precious when passed from parent to child. However, wisdom is not always recognized at first, by either the parent or child, or both.
Sometimes, the little things are really profound pieces of wisdom in disguise. But, one day, the veil will fall away and these “little things” will be recognized for what they truly are, and appreciated beyond words. That is why my Mom goes through every day doing everything she can, even if it’s just the unappreciated little things, to ensure that her love for God is mirrored in the souls of her children. When it comes to raising good Catholic kids, nothing is ever too little to grow into something so much more.
This Little Light of Mine
I am no longer a child, and my Mom can no longer hold my hand through every storm. No matter how hard I try to hold on, I know deep down inside she has done everything she can to prepare me. Now it’s time to protect my flame myself, and make sure it never stops shining. My Mom will always be there, though, at the end, cheering for me and telling me I can do it. She has never stopped believing in me, and often has had more faith in me than I have in myself.
That sleepy little girl cradled in her Mom’s lap never knew that her Mom’s song was not only going to get her through one storm, but also prepare her for all the future ones that were yet to come.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!