Yesterday I was talking a walk around Gallup Park along the Huron River. When I turned one corner, I was struck by the brightness of the sun being reflected off a portion of the river. I started thinking about how that brightness was the result of the sun being reflected of many individual drops of water. We are like those drops of water. Many days we can wonder whether our life counts for anything. We’re just living our ordinary daily lives, trying to love God and love His people. Who even knows about us? Yet, we are part of a people, the people of God. And when His light shines on us, we do reflect it.
In order for light to reflect off of something, the object must be pure, and that requires purification –the purification that happens right there in the ordinariness of our lives. This reminds me of a story told by Amy Carmichael.
One day in India, she took her children to see a goldsmith refine gold in the ancient manner of the East. He was sitting at his little charcoal fire. Amid the glow of the flames he place a common curved roof tile. Another tile was used to cover it as a lid, and this became his simple, homemade crucible. Into the crucible the refiner placed ingredients: salt, tamarind fruit, and burned brick dust. Embedded within these ingredients was a gold nugget. The fire worked on the gold nugget, ‘eating it,’ as the refiner put it. From time to time, he would lift the told out with the tongs, let it cool, then rub it between his fingers. Then he would return it to the crucible and blow the fire hotter than it was before. ‘It could not bear it so hot at first, but it can bear it now,’ he explained to the children. ‘What would have destroyed it then helps it now.’ Finally Amy asked, ‘How do you know when the gold is purified?’ The refiner answered, ‘When I can see my face in it, then I know it is pure.'(Robert J. Morgan, The Promise: God Works Everything Together for Your Good, pp. 91-92)