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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: light (05/24/04)

TITLE: A Little Light Will Do
By Deborah Porter


In the not so distant days before Sydney was hit with water restrictions, my husband would often arrive home from work and turn on the sprinklers in the back garden.

Once this was done, Steve would hop into the shower or hot tub (depending on how taxing his day had been) and then finally sink blissfully into the comfort of his recliner lounge chair.

The only trouble with this was that once clean and fresh, Steve had no desire whatsoever to go back outside.

That’s where I came in.

“Deb, could you go turn the water off please?”

When that request was made before sunset, I had no hesitation in complying.

Oh, but once night arrived, it was another matter altogether.

I headed off quite willingly the first time Steve asked me to do this after sundown. It was either that or wake up the next day with a swimming pool in the bottom garden!

Making my way across the back patio, I quickly headed to the two steps that led to the lower lawn area. Before long I was joined by our little dog, Tiger, who was sure that I’d come out to “play”.

Reaching the steps, I discovered that due to the encroaching darkness, my trip to the tap was going to be a little trickier. Holding onto the garden wall, I carefully made my way down to the soft grass below and that’s when I felt something a little too soft squish beneath my foot.

“ARGH! Tiger!” I squealed, realising what had just smeared across my shoe.

Tiger was quite oblivious to the fact that one of his little “lawn presents” had not been favourably received. Instead, he danced and skipped around my feet, ready for a game.

After a moment of scraping, I continued on my way – deeper into the inky blackness of our suburban backyard.

Groping blindly, I searched fruitlessly for the missing tap. Then, just as I was thinking that Steve must have moved it that afternoon, my hand connected with the cold, wet metal of the faucet and I quickly turned it off.

Wet, covered in cobwebs and with a certain aroma still lingering on my shoe, I stormed crankily back into the house.

“Next time, you can do it your jolly self!” I complained.

Steve just smiled.

Of course next time came and once again I made my way along the treacherous course. This time, however, I’d taken the precaution of turning on a light in the back room – a room almost entirely comprised of windows. This time I’d be able to see!

All went well until I reached the bottom of the steps and discovered that those little trees Steve had planted years before were now great, bushy giants that effectively blocked every skerrick of light from view.

With a sigh, I stepped once more into the darkness. This time I avoided Tiger’s mess, but nearly broke my neck tripping over him instead.

Once more I battled through spider webs and spiky vegetation in search of the missing tap.

Once more I finally found it.

Once more I stomped past my husband, muttering, “Next time …. you know what you can do!”

Next time arrived and of course I headed outside yet again. However, this time I stopped at our daughter’s bedroom to borrow something first.

It was just a tiny torch – cute, pink and toylike, with only enough power to illuminate two steps ahead of my way. Even so, it was more than sufficient to lead me safely to the tap and back.

Our Christian journey can be a bit like my trips to the tap. Although God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105) we don’t always use it that way.

Sometimes we set out to do God’s bidding, but leave His Word behind. Then we wonder why we’re always stumbling into one mess after the other.

Other times we rely on second-hand light from other people’s experiences with the Word. Although the light is on, it isn’t totally effective in illuminating our path.

The only way we can walk freely forward is by carrying God’s Word with us as we go. Even the smallest portion of His Word in our “hand” will still cast enough light for us to see the way ahead ... and with Christ by our side, even a little light will do.

Member Comments
Member Date
Marie B. Corso05/31/04
"and with Christ by our side, even a little light will do." That was a good ending line. Story was great. Well written. But, Deb, it's time for your husband to get up and turn off the tap! You've done your duty!

Gary Sims05/31/04
Debbie - I really liked how you pulled your illustration together at the end with "Our Christian journey can be a bit like my trips to the tap..." Summarizing without being repetitive or preachy.

I did have some difficulty with the piece in a couple of areas. I felt your use of paragraphing broke up the flow especially at the beginning where one paragraph would suffice instead of three.

Also, I feel you could expand your phrasing. Explore different ways to say "This time, next time" instead of reusing those same phrases over and over.

I enjoyed this piece.
B Price05/31/04
I like this.. very cute and loved the way you tied it in at the end with the Light of Christ being by our side.

I also agree with Gary about Explore different ways to say "This time, next time" instead of reusing those same phrases over and over.
was a few typos, but a great piece.

Deborah Porter 05/31/04
Hi everyone. Guess I'd best make a comment on the use of the same words in this piece ... it was quite deliberate to indicate the fact that it was a repetitive thing each time.

Not sure about the typos, but it could be a difference in English spelling as opposed to US English. I can't actually see anything that jumps out at me.

Love, Deb
Joanne Malley06/01/04
Debbie, Your article was quite amusing and fun to read. Makes me glad I chose not to get a dog!
L.M. Lee06/02/04
Christ by our side, even a little light will do - we need to cling to that light...it's our only hope! Good thoughts!
Linda Germain 06/02/04
Debbie, I have the cutest little light shaped like a helicopter (or bug) that hangs around my neck. The light shines directly down on the path when I walk. Also, I can switch on a little fan (handy for those flashes of heat peculiar to women of a certain age! LOL) The lights went off at church the other night and I was the only one who could see in the ladies room!! It is so handy, I have taken to wearing it like a necklace. Loved your article. You have a true servant's heart. Bless you. LCg
Lynne Gaunt06/04/04
I really enjoyed your story. Its well written and your application to God's word is marvelous. I once stepped on a dead mouse that my cat had left on the deck for me - mouse guts between my bare toes - eeewwwww!!!
Mary Elder-Criss06/05/04
Debbie~Loved the humor in your article. Sure hope your husband appreciates you..lol..Wonderfully presented message. Great to see you posting! With love, Mary
toronto49 Aird06/06/04
Enjoyable, funny, interesting, all meant to get your message across...which you did extemely well. Thank you!
Linda Miller06/06/04
Hi Debbie - this is a delightful article - I especially liked "we rely on second-hand light from other people’s experiences with the Word. Although the light is on, it isn’t totally effective in illuminating our path." How true that is! We try to live for God by using other peoples' lights, strengths and testimonies. We need to use our own - they are the BEST! Keep up the good writing!
Marcell Billinghurst06/16/04
This is a great story Debbie, which shows your ability to find humour in frustrating circumstances. With your gift of encouragement you are like a light to the world yourself. God bless you, love from your sister in Christ, Marcell.
Whitney Nemecek07/07/04
I just found this one, Deb. I loved it! Very encouraging. --Whitney
Debra L. McKeen Sparks11/02/04
I really liked this -- I loved the reflective qualities of the physical versus spiritual darkness and how simply of a little light we really need to find our way -- all we need to do is in faith, walk to the edge of the light and sure enough - there the light will go before us.... loved it Deb! Really did!
Kenny Blade05/10/05
Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the way you used your phrasing and structure to reiterate the repetition of the journey across the yard. I know it's not real "literary" sounding, but you have a pretty cool way of putting your reader's out there on the lawn with you as you experience everything. I really appreciated the storytelling and the message.God Bless...
Mitzi Busby06/08/05
Deb, I really liked your story. Light shatters the darkness. I don't know if I would have gone out the second or third time. Steve might have had to get up. :Smile
Gloria Laroza T.09/23/05

"The only way we can walk freely forward is by carrying God’s Word with us as we go."
Debbie, I believe it's a divine plan that I came across your article more than a year after you wrote it. God just blessed me with the message of your article, in a very timely manner. His Word is indeed the only lamp that will brighten our paths if we want to move forward in our journey. Thank you for sharing. Blessings! Gloria
Marilyn Schnepp 11/28/05
I may be a year and a half late - but better late than never! I loved this "true to life" story of an ordinary every day incident - that was made into the extra-ordinaire by keeping the Reader interested until the end. I join with the others...and applaud your captivating, humorous story that tells how just a little light will do.
Nina Phillips12/06/05
Hello sis, sorry so long to get THIS great story! However, I believe that I, myself would have went out in BROAD LIGHT of day and turned the tap off before I was even asked. (LOL) But your point is well taken. I would rather have a little light than none at all! God bless you, littlelight
Janice S Ramkissoon02/13/06
Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing this one with us, I really enjoyed it and there was no chance of me saving this one until later - I was hooked. I believe the core of this message is to let our lights shine, no matter how small!!!!!
Janice Cartwright03/20/07
You did a great job of awakening my imagination with the use of the senses! I walked, groped, and scraped with you in the "inky blackness" of your backyard. I breathed in the damp of your garden and felt a residue of wet, dried-grass leaves clinging to my instep inside my sandals. For a moment you made me forget I was slumped in my chair at home staring at a glowing rectangle of artificial light.

Thank you for my small leave of absence and also for the neat parellel you drew, linking the material to the spiritual.
Laury Hubrich 08/17/08
Ah, I finally read something that you wrote:) Nice little devo. I'll be lurking to check out more. Beware!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/19/12
I've never had the privilege of reading your work before. What a delightful devo. I could picture everything and it was nice to start my day with a chuckle and a great message. And I love the word skerrick!