07.20.21 – Be The Moon

Journal entry by Vicki Bunke 

Today I came across a picture of Grace that made me smile. During childhood many young people become fascinated with various things. Grace was no different. She was fascinated with the moon.

We have all seen a full moon. A full moon can make the landscape shine almost like daytime. As you walk around you can see great distances, and you can see things like trees and sidewalks and flowers…in the middle of the night by moonlight.

But did you know that there is no such thing as moonlight?

Moonlight doesn’t come from the moon. No, it comes from the sun. Moonlight is actually sunlight that bounces off of the moon and shines down onto the earth.

In a certain way, we are just like the moon. Just as the moon has no light of its own, neither do we. Just as the moon can only ‘shine’ by reflecting the light of the sun, the only way that we can do good and be good is by reflecting the goodness of God.

But some of us are better at it than others. Like my friend and colleague and one of Grace and Caroline’s middle school teachers, Kathleen Atkins.

Who is Mrs. Atkins? You have probably never heard of Mrs. Atkins. And that is the point.

Kathleen is like the moon.

Please do not misunderstand me. Please do not get me wrong. Mrs. Atkins is one of the most remarkable people you will ever meet. She is certainly capable of shining more brightly than the Sun, but she chose a different path. Mrs. Atkins understood something important. She understood that we have no light of our own, but rather we reflect a greater light, the light of God, when we interact with others and the world.

And guess what? Mrs. Atkins  illuminated Grace and Caroline’s middle school years at Dodgen Middle School during what could have easily been a very dark time in both of their lives. But, it was not. Rather, it was a very bright place and experience for both of them. And that is because Mrs. Atkins chose to be the moon for both Grace and Caroline.

In 3 days, I will travel to Swim Across America – Nantucket for the 3rd stop on The Amazing Grace Swim Across America Tour. And guess who will be there to greet me and cheer me on? Mrs. Atkins and family.

In honor of Mrs. Atkins who retired this year from a career she loved, let’s all spend the rest of this week being the moon. Let us be the moon – unable to shine by ourselves – but when in the right place – God’s light bounces off of us and onto others. Let’s be the moon for others.

I wanna be the moon, up among the stars
Fly around the world
Lighting up the dark at night
I’m nothing without the Son’s amazing grace
On everything I do
If You’re shining on me, I’m shining right back for You
I wanna be the moon
Lord, I wanna be the moon for You

(Chris Tomlin)

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