Did you ever wonder why we decided to name our nonprofit “The Torch”? I was thinking about that today so of course you have to hear it now.
There are several reasons why we believe the name is perfect for what we are doing in The Torch. By the way, it is somewhat ironic because we actually had developed some ideas around this name for a different organization in the past and now it is clear to me it would have been an inappropriate name for that place. I am so relieved I have a God Who saves me from myself sometimes.
One of the reasons I like the name “The Torch” is because a torch represents leadership. Whenever you watch a movie, say Indiana Jones or something like that, and the characters are entering a dark cavern where a torch is needed, the person carrying it does not walk at the rear of the group. Nope, the individual with the torch always leads the way. One of my prayers for The Torch is that we will lead the way for Christians seeking out new methods of bringing God into the world. I feel like we have gotten into something of a slump as a body of believers because here in the U.S., we tend to wait for people to come to our churches and then we try to reach them for God. But that limits our outreach because I think it takes a certain mindset for people to walk into a church building and attend a service. I have visited a few new churches recently and I have been a Christian for a long time so I know the drill and still it can be a bit unnerving to walk through those doors - even if I know someone who attends there. I can only imagine it must be that much more intimidating for someone who has no such background.
A Torch represents fire and fires start with sparks. I hope other Christians will see us taking steps to share our faith in such a tangible way with sacrifice and hard work maybe they will be inspired and encouraged to either join us or to realize their own potential for impacting the world in their own way. I hope we lead the way for Christians to realize it is complacent behavior to attend a church and just pray people will come. I hope they will seek to change and their creativity and unlimited potential will be sparked. I would love to see a great body of believers cease to be merely Sunday Christians and become 24/7 Christians who give and give and give to the world so much it gets noticed because it is unusual and supernatural. Just like our God.
I also hope God uses our leadership skills to lead people to Him. It is my desire we will be so covered in prayer every time we go out we do not get bogged down in the details of our work, but are waiting and alert for opportunities to lend a listening ear and to show love to individuals. And when the time comes, to give them a reason for our faith and our love and our sacrifice so that they can also become part of this life-changing family.
Another reason we liked "The Torch" is because it represents light. I think we live in such a dark world. If you read people’s posts on Facebook you will see a lot of negativity and suffering out there. Watching the news can be equally depressing, in case you haven’t noticed. I think we need to know what is going on in the world and I certainly want to pray for the troubles my friends face, but all the negativity and pain is a reminder this world can be dark and depressing. The reality is our world is in trouble and we need light because with it comes hope. We want the sound of our truck rolling into a neighborhood or community to lift people. Human beings gravitate toward light and as we travel to various neighborhoods we hope people will feel lifted and encouraged by the fact we cared enough to come.
I heard a pastor talking about darkness and light one time many many years ago. He owned horse property in a mountainous area of California and would often get home late from church and have to feed his horses in the dark. One Sunday morning he described walking from his house to the stables after dark. He said he would walk as quickly as possible and try not to look anywhere except the barn because whatever lurked in the shadows made him nervous. His point was we are creatures of light - we are made to gravitate toward light and function in the light. We need it.
I often wonder about the Seasonal Affective Disorder depression people deal with in states like Michigan in the winter. Research has shown It is quite possible this depression is caused by a lack of sunlight exposure. Maybe that is because people are light-dependent and sunlight helps lift the mood and spirit. We are created to exist in the light.
Finally, we have already found the name, "The Torch" to be a constant reminder. We are called to be salt and light to this world. It is my prayer the very fact we are bringing food and offering tutoring and other supports to people will allow us to be salt and light. Every time I see our logo and think about everything The Torch stands for, I realize all over again Who I represent and I am humbled. My attitude lines up and my countenance lifts. None of this, nothing in my life, is about me. It is all about the One Who created light and IS the light.
The Torch, because it fits.