“This little light of mine.
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine.
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine.
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine.
Let it shine.
Let it shine.”

I think every child learns that song at point in time. It’s simple, and it simply puts a smile on your face.

It’s about coming out of the darkness.

It’s about spreading love and joy.

The meaning of that song came to life as I watched a special edition of “20/20” last night. It featured the first interview with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot in the head during an appearance in Arizona.

The first part of the special chronicled her road to recovery with videos of her husband’s hospital visits and her physical therapy sessions.

In one video, Gabby was visibly frustrated, unable to find the words to describe her feelings. Then her therapist asked her to sing.

The two found comfort while quietly singing “This Little Light of Mine.” She mouthed the lyrics as her tears gave way to smiles and laughter.

At that moment, you could see her light. You could see the fight in her, and her ability to see life in song. They were the parts of herself that she never let go of; the parts that would take her through that dark time in her life.

She sang her way into one phase of recovery after another, and music became a regular part of her rehab sessions.

After all, it was what she responded to.

Singing made her smile.

The rhythm of the music steadied her feet.

And the most telling thing about her was her favorite song. Her husband, a retired astronaut, said it was “Beautiful Day” by U2, a song about seizing the day and being positive. He even taped a message for her from space when U2 dedicated the song to her while she was in the hospital. (Click here to watch)

Courtesy: ABC (“20/20”)

It was amazing to see how far she’d come by the time she sat down with Diane Sawyer months later. Her eyes lit up with joy as she remembered a song her mother sang to her as a child. And she was able to smile and laugh as she talked about her growing strength.

Her inner light radiated, even as she struggled to recover from such a traumatic injury.

Watching the interview made me think of a friend and former co-worker who is in a similar situation.

Jimmy was in a serious car accident about three months ago. He suffered a spinal cord injury, and to this day, it has him using a motorized wheelchair, and being cared for by his wife, Jaimie.

The situation forced them to leave their jobs, and focus on whatever was needed to help Jimmy have the best recovery.

I haven’t able to visit Jimmy yet, but I religiously follow the recovery updates on his Caringbridge site.

I can’t tell you how many times Jaimie has talked about Jimmy doing the unexpected, mentioned his positive attitude, or posted pictures of him smiling.

Courtesy: Jaimie Moore

I remember one post talked about Jimmy’s reaction to people staring at him and his wheelchair when a group from the hospital went to a restaurant for brunch. He told his wife they were staring because he, “makes it look good.”

My immediate thought when I read that was, “Now that’s the Jimmy I know!”

That’s because, at his core, he is a quick-witted sports lover who makes the best out of every situation.

He faces challenges head on, and I believe that is his light…what’s carrying him through his dark time.

And I think it will help his wife find comfort as she takes the journey with him.

A local television station recently told their story.

It let me hear them talk about the accident for the first time, and brought me to tears as it showed a newlywed couple with a newly minted bond that realizes God still has a grand plan for their lives.

If that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is.

(You can see the story here.)

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining. They just shine.
– Dwight L. Moody

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