Why do we love sunshine so much? What is it about the rays of the sun hitting our skin that we crave? What is it about light and warmth that is so alluring to us? We crave it so much that we can become sick from the lack of it (Vitamin D deficiencies, Seasonal Affective Disorder). After days of clouds and rain and cold, most people when the sun finally hits their face, they close their eyes and just breath. We sit by pools, by beaches, in lawn chairs, and on decks to get just a taste of the sun. We want to just be in it.
People have a way of being sunshine to us too. They tend to be the ones who smile often, ask us how we are, sit with us, whose very presence is comforting and energizing. They tend to be the ones who love well. And we crave their presence as much as we crave the sun. You can be having a terrible, no-good, rotten day and one kind word, one hug, one smile can turn that day around. When we are surrounded by sunshine people, the world can be falling apart and yet we feel some degree of warmth, safety, and contentedness.
We want to be around these kinds of people but how do we find them? Because sometimes it feels like we are surrounded by the human equivalents of a thunderstorm or of a cold, dreary day or one of those gross days that it’s just a bit too cold and wet to do anything. And when we mostly encounter cloudy days, we become discouraged and desperate. It would be nice if that answer was that all the sunny people were at this one bakery just off the highway and all you have to do is walk in, tell the hostess you are looking for some sun, and they’ll direct you to the nearest and best sunshine person. Fortunately, the answer is much simpler than that and unfortunately, much more difficult. You find sunshine by being sunny yourself.
By being the sun for others, by providing love and joy and kindness to those around you, you attract more sunshine. You help other people become light, warm, and full so that they can do that for others. Sometimes you are lucky, and you stumble upon the human version of a gorgeous sunny day. But most of the time, the sunniest people want to be around sunshine people too.
So, how do you become sunshine? In order to be overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, you have to get to the source of those things, the source of the sunshine: the sun itself. You have to be filled by the truest version of all of those things, the purest version of love, you have to be around God. You have to connect to His heart, His word, His being.
We always want to be nearer to people who love us, who speak kind and true things, who are loyal, gentle, who accept us as we are and yet hope for better things for us, who want good things for us and put good things in our lives. And in the deepest parts of us, our souls long to be near the very source and center of those things. We long for the nearness of the Sun, for the closeness of the presence of God.