August 2022 Craft: Lights Shining in the Darkness
By Jacqui Larsson, Territorial Social Justice Ministries Director
Territorial Social Justice Department
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25:40
Men, women, and children who are caught in trafficking situations are imprisoned, bound, tied to the person who has them in their grip, oppressing them from the freedoms God would want each of us to experience. We are surrounded by people in need, we see the hungry and destitute people on the streets, those who are sick and suffering, but we are often blind to the world of human trafficking as, although it happens all around us, it happens in the shadows, in places of darkness, and increasingly on the internet behind closed doors. Just as God saw Hagar in the desert and appeared to her, offering comfort, and calling her by name, and just as Jesus saw the outcasts in society and crossed boundaries to talk to them and offer love and healing, so we are called to open our eyes and see the hurting world around us. May we look in the darkness and see those in need as we shine God’s love into the shadows of despair.
The rubber bands, twine, string, or yarn in this craft represent the imprisonment of those trapped in human trafficking. The act of cutting these from the jars, represents what God can do through us, “to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (Isaiah 42:7). The light placed inside the vase/jar, represents His healing and restoration – creating a new life of beauty. The light shining through the vase represents the love of God, like rays of sun, shining into the darkness.
Pray silently through each step of the craft you will be making. Think about those who are suffering. Pray that wherever they are, they may find freedom and healing. Pray that God would open our eyes to see those around us who are hurting, and that we would be his hands and feet for the trafficking victims and survivors hidden in the darkness!
- Vases or Jars – various sizes (places to buy: Dollar Store, Walmart, TSA Family Stores)
- Straight Razor to remove stickers from the bottom (optional)
- Something to create lines on the vases – various thicknesses of ⦁ rubber bands, twine, string, or yarn (maybe not too thin)
- Krylon/Montana Cans Spray Paint in the color of your choice
- Gloves (optional – if you don’t like getting paint all over your hands and nails)
- Tea Lights
I have to start by saying that I am not a “crafty” person, in fact I think this is the first time in my life that I have sat down by myself and created a craft in my spare time – so if I can do this craft…anyone can 12 There were moments of frustration for me as a “crafting newbie” (my blue paint did not cooperate) but as I put this together I intentionally used the time to pray for those caught in trafficking, and the moments of messiness reminded me that life is messy and the journey of a trafficking survivor is often filled with twists, turns and challenges! I hope you enjoy the process as much as I did!
- Use a straight razor and scrape off any price tags and remove any sticky residue with soap and sponge, giving it a good cleaning overall.
- Tightly wrap the rubber bands, twine, yarn, etc. around the vases/jars – far apart or close together. Feel free to overlap them, leaving a cute criss-cross look.
(If using yarn or string, tape the ends on the underside or the inside so they stay in place. Don’t place the tape on the outside of the jar where you will be painting.)
- Cover an area in newspaper so you’re ready to paint! Spray one coat for a more sheer, frosted look. Spray more coats for a more opaque look, but paint each coat lightly, waiting 5-10 minutes in between. Let dry. (My blue spray pain was a different brand and did not work well, so I covered it in gold which gave an “interesting” two-tone effect).
- After the paint is fully dry cut the rubber bands, twine, etc., off.
My rubber bands were very tight so when I cut them, they “pinged off” and I had to go back and remove some of the paint, but it came away from the glass easily. The blue/gold paint left a slightly jagged line (because of the paint layering), but looked beautiful when the tea light was lit.
- Place tea lights inside. And…enjoy the beautiful rays of light shining into the darkness! So pretty!
To be like Jesus!
To be like Jesus! This hope possesses me,
In every thought and deed,
This is my aim, my creed;
To be like Jesus! This hope possesses me,
His Spirit helping me,
Like him I’ll be.
(Song #328, The Salvation Army Songbook 2016 North American Edition)
Enjoy your beautiful vases! I hope that every time you light yours you will remember those trapped in human trafficking, spend a little time in prayer for them, and seek God to guide you in ways you can make a difference in their lives.
Download printable directions for this craft:
Note: Check out this month’s Bible Study, To Be Seen By God, and this month’s devotional, Eyes Wide Open, that coordinates with this craft. Also check out the resource Red Flags and Responses.