Missed it by THAT MUCH!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”   Matthew 5:16

I had a friend in high school who was a prodigy musician. He had been in the Berkshire Boys Choir as a soprano. He was hand-pic ked by Leonard Bernstein to perform the altar boy solo in his production of Mass, which opened the Kennedy Center. Rick has an autographed picture of Bernstein with his arm around his shoulders. He’s even listed on the album of the original recording.

A local musician, Jenny Dunn, saw him performing at a small concert in downtown Toledo once, and she asked him if he’d like to be a duo with her. She played guitar and sang, so Rick’s piano skills and voice made a great match. They became Sugar & Spice and had a steady gig at an upscale Italian restaurant, Porch of the Maidens.

Being best buds, I got to know Jenny and her husband along with Rick. I often went to the restaurant to listen to them play on weekends. We were all friends.

Rick and I were still in high school, so it stood to reason that at some point Sugar & Spice would dissolve. It happened sooner than later, as Rick’s talents were too good for any school program in Toledo. He went to the Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan. He and I stayed in touch, but Jenny drifted out of our lives.

She was a great lady, but neither Rick nor I were too sure about her husband. We always wondered how she ended up with someone as rough as he was.

Years later she re-appeared in our lives. She had been divorced from her husband and was getting remarried. It turns out he was every bit the rough, abusive guy we took him for. Jenny had finally ended that run and found herself a good man. We were invited to the reception. It was a pretty big thing; her parents were members of a golf club that often hosted pro golf tournaments, so that’s where they wanted to have the reception for her.

It was pretty big, lots of people, so we didn’t get to see her much. She smiled big at us when we came, and we got a few minutes to catch up. It turned out she had found Jesus. Her new husband was a Christian too, so there was every confidence this would be a good marriage.

She gave me a thoughtful look and then asked, “Jeff, are you a Christian?” I replied that I am. She then wondered if I had always been. Again, yes.

I could see it in her face; something had come together for her.

“Jeff, I always knew there was something different about you. You had something a lot of other people don’t, and I always liked that about you.”

I started feeling pretty good about myself just then, knowing that I lived a life that set me apart from others, that my light shone. But then came the follow up.

“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”

Missed it by THAT MUCH!

She was right. I was only part way there. I could live a life that showed God’s light, but I never talked that much about Him. Ultimately, I failed her and who knows how many others. I got their interest without even knowing it, and never said a word.

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and have an open heart to hear your witness. If, that is, you remember to talk about the walk.

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