This Little Light of Mine

images from internet

I was purified each Sunday, sitting on a child-sized wooden chair, belting out “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Sure of salvation, my only worry was whether I’d forget the Bible verse memorized by repeating it every morning and every night for the preceding week.

I was glorious holy, worrying about my dad, who put the harvest before church, trying to pray him back from a future Hell. Yes, there were happy ladies shepherding us up the back stairs from Sunday School to real church above; but there were also those who gave us brief flashes of the fires of Hell, who denied that perfect attendance bar for my Sunday School pin even when my excuse was a verified hospital stay to have my tonsils out. Muriel, the preacher’s daughter and my oldest sister’s best friend, stealing the bar to add to my Sunday School pin, anyway. Surely this member of a holy family herself validity enough to certify my perfect attendance in  intention if not in fact.

Where did it go, that round white enamel pin with the surrounding gold cluster for the second year and new bar hanging down each year thereafter for perfect attendance? I wore it with such pride. Did it blow away in the tornado that lifted my parents’ roof that year long after I had left? Was it stolen in the burglary at my house where 70 rings were stolen? Did divine intervention finally lift it from my possession?

The only certainty is that this pack rat did not throw it away. I am an artist of little things, joining them together to create stories of my life, the world and thoughts above this world. They are little lights of mine shining words and memories—little song medleys that belt the lyrics as surely as that basement room of children, sure in their conviction that somewhere out there in the universe, someone or something was watching them shine.

The prompt word today is “shine.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

13 thoughts on “This Little Light of Mine

  1. Mary Francis McNinch

    I didn’t get a pin..and it even has a crown. No disrespect intended, I realize it’s way above my reach! My SS teacher was Mrs. Thomas and I still remember all the words to “This little light of mine.” Good example of “shine.”


      1. lifelessons Post author

        Hmm. Giving me something to think about. Is it that I’m a detail person now or is it that I was then? I guess I wouldn’t remember the details if I wasn’t. I have one of the first stories I ever wrote about the old house we lived in across from the grade school before we built the new house kittycorner from the south side of the school. It is so detail-laden. Think I’ll dig it out. Was waaaay before computers–1967 or earlier.


      2. Mary Francis McNinch

        1067 was Waaay before computers. (Just kidding). I would love to read it. (Note from Judy: Ooops.. I’d corrected that, but the wifi connection at the beach is temperamental. Sometimes it corrects, and others it doesn’t. Should have read 1967. I’ve corrected it again above.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. dennyho

    Your childhood memory described here is wonderful. And I can imagine the strict elder who denied you your pin although your excuse a valid one…there is one in every congregation. We methodists are a tough crowd! I hope you will find your pin burried amongst household treasures someday.


  3. Marilyn Armstrong

    No comparable memories, i’m afraid, but not sorry. I never envied anyone their mandatory church attendance, but I did envy their special time off for “religious studies.” They all got out of school right after lunch on Wednesdays, but being Jewish and not very, I had to stay till three. Oh well.


  4. Pingback: Author Interview – Colleen Chesebro – The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy (Fantasy Genre) | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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