Brighten the Corner

Crying most of the day, I could hardly function. No one died. I wasn’t losing my house. Or my family.

I attended my own pity party.

Why is Tom gone so much? Why am I home so much with Mom? How can I do great things when I’m stuck here? The stench of my thoughts must have burned God’s nose.

It had only been a week since I’d finished the chapter about contentment in Pricilla Shirer’s book, “Resolutions for Women.” I even signed the resolution.

And now I whined and cried to God because I was confined to a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, air-conditioned house. Oh yeah, did I mention I have a pool?


Mom’s caregiver didn’t come in until later that day. I sat next to Mom as we listened to the radio. The announcer spoke of a woman who wanted to do great things for the Lord. Then her father became an invalid. She took care of him for the next several years.

She wrote a song during the time of care for her father. Here are the lyrics:

  1. Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
    Do not wait to shed your light afar;
    To the many duties ever near you now be true,
    Brighten the corner where you are. 

    • Refrain:
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
      Brighten the corner where you are!
  2. Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
    Let not narrow self your way debar;
    Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
  3. Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

We lifted the chorus together. Her voice, low and raspy–mine, younger and stronger. Mom’s wrinkly face shone from the corner of her cheery, green room. She brightened that corner.

I smiled. God answered me. He didn’t yell. He whispered to me through a song written by a woman who thought what she did didn’t count for anything.

All those acts of service the world doesn’t recognize, the Lord treasures.

He knows.

Now I know.

I’ll talk to you next week. I’ve got a few corners to shine up.

What about you?


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