Guard Your Spark (Words to My Kids in a Scary World)


It’s really scary out there, little ones.

I know you look around some days and you wonder what’s going on and you wonder where all the good people have gone. I do too.

We big people get worried and sad just like you do. We too become frightened when it gets really dark outside, and right now it seems darker than it’s ever been. It sort of feels like the light has been chased away for good.  

At times like these it’s easy to believe that everything is wrong and to give up—but I don’t want you to do that.

I want you to know that I still see light in this place. I see it in you and that’s why I need you to protect that light with everything you have.

I need you to guard your spark, little ones; that brilliant, beautiful ember seated in the center of your chest. It is a wild, magical thing.

It helps you keep looking for the good in people, to have hope when things are scary, to smile even when the storm comes. It is the place where joy dances and fear runs, and this world needs it now more than ever. It needs shimmering, glorious you.

Too many big people let their sparks go out far too soon. They let all the bad things and the sad days and the mean people get inside them and fill them up, until finally there’s no room left for the light and it just gets snuffed out. They become cold and dark.

And once that happens they stay worried and sad, and they stop believing that they will ever not be those things. They become the very kind of people that they were always frightened of back when they still carried the light. They grow meaner and angrier and they start to put out the spark in the people around them—and that is how the darkness grows.

You see, fear is contagious like a terrible sickness. It spreads so easily.

But the really amazing thing is that the spark inside you is infectious too. You can remind people who have given up that there are still good people here, that others are still trying, and that can be enough reason for them to go on. It can be just enough to awaken the sleeping ember buried deep inside them—and then they find their spark again.

And this is what makes the darkness turn and run.

You probably don’t know it, but there are many days, when the one thing that keeps me going is standing close to you and watching how you shine in this place, and it makes me want to shine too. For as many times as you’ve looked to me for saving, you have saved me.

What I am saying, little ones, is to go and be who you were meant to be. Go be that brilliant, beaming, radiant light in the world that you feel is fading.

See the best in people.
Show kindness.

Guard your spark, my loves. It’s more powerful than you know. 



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16 thoughts on “Guard Your Spark (Words to My Kids in a Scary World)

    • When you try to get love from those who don’t know how to even love themselves, you will always feel beaten. If you don’t love yourself, you will attract others just like you. So if you want to feel better, start by being loving and nurturing to yourself and seek out those who do the same.

  1. Brilliant!

    WE must be the change we want to see in our world. Compassion is the single most powerful tool in our arsenal to transform the darkness brewing in our world to Light. Be compassionate toward both those you love and those you don’t, and the Light will begin to spread like wildfire. Start now, time is running out.

  2. Thank you for your warm counsel. I don’t remember who said it, but “Let fear not stop us from stepping boldly out into the night.”

  3. it’s true indeed, darkness can never overwhelm light…only when the light dims can darkness flourish!

  4. You’re always so awesome!! Thank you for encouragement, and I’ve been so uplifted to see that you did not give up on god when things got super dark!!! <3

  5. Steve Winwood and Traffic mentioned “the low spark of high-heeled boys. “Does anyone remember that? I bet you do:

    Steve lives in Nashville now and has not had a spark in a long while, perhaps a reflection of what John says about the spark fading away in old age. But when Steve was a young man, the spark was strong and it ignited flames. Maybe you remember that spark:

  6. Love can only grow or even be sustained within community. We simply must find others, even two or three, that feed us, that we can share, laugh and cry with. If we remain alone, especially in times as these, our love, the best part of us, will not live, let alone, thrive. We must remember that God is with us where we join with others.

  7. Beautiful John.
    Please keep finding the beauty.
    I think you will find this appropriate. “On the Turning Away.”

  8. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
    Matthew 5:14‭-‬16 ESV

    There’s not much discussion these days about the Holy Spirit… That Third Person of the Trinity. I wonder why that is. That Light for all to see. That Light that overcomes darkness and changes us and the world. I’ve watched the comment count on this one and it makes me sad. It’s all we have. Come Holy Spirit, you are welcome here. Come fill this place.

    “Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
    John 14: 17 ESV

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