Tonight is the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice. Until the days tick by and more daylight comes our way, I reflect on what the Winter Solstice means to me. I take the darkness personally tonight. Several months ago, children at church sang "This Little Light of Mine.” Their sweet voices and cheery faces encouraged all present to let our lights shine. Through the unfiltered enthusiasm of those tiny ones, I was reminded of the big message that we are each given gifts and talents that are uniquely our own. It is a blessing -- and indeed a privilege -- to contribute those talents and gifts to the greater good, regardless of how small or insignificant we may believe them to be. In real and felt darkness, how might we add more light to the lives of others? What talents might we have that could make a difference for someone else? How might we be lights in the world? Perhaps it’s checking on a neighbor, calling a friend who is alone, offering words of support to a family member, writing a note to someone or volunteering for an organization or cause. Such gifts don’t have to cost money. Sharing your gifts and talents has a value all of its own. Even when all is dark (and perhaps especially so), it's important to let our own lights shine. The light that we may think is but a tiny flicker may be the illumination that will serve as a beacon for another.