This little light of mine — how to let it shine

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My friend, musician and composer John Angotti, recently led a retreat for a grade school near me. He asked the children if anyone wanted to sing. Liliah, a little second-grader, raised her hand and stepped forward. But then she got crippling stage fright and began to tear up. John picked her up, told her everything would be okay, and that she should just focus on him. He got her to sing  “This Little Light of Mine,” quietly at first, and then belting it out on her own microphone like it was a show tune.

Who wants to go to Mass?

I don’t know why, but his story made me think of some of the people we see in our pews on Sunday. It is as if the Holy Spirit wakes up on Sunday and asks, “Who wants to go to Mass today?” All the Liliah’s raise their hands, crawl out of bed, brush their teeth, and show up at church.

But once they get there, it’s not what they imagined. It’s hard to show up for faith in front of others. They get stage fright. They don’t want to stand out. They don’t want to embarrass themselves. And yet, they are hoping something big will happen. They are hoping for a moment in God’s limelight. They are hoping to be lifted up into God’s arms and promised that everything will be alright.

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