Brighten the Corner Where You Are


By: Wanda Fielder


It was over fifty years ago that I sang in the animated childrens’ choir of my home church, and to this day many of the precious songs still linger in my mind and come to remembrance at various interludes of my life. Such was the case today as this particular song popped into my mind uninvited yet so welcomed as my mind was carried back for half a century. Standing happily before a crowd of smiling adults we sang:

Brighten the corner where you are,

Brighten the corner where you are,

Be a little candle if you cannot be a star,

Brighten the corner where you are.

Simple . . . yet containing a profound message that had not yet penetrated my childish mind as I sang. Today I contemplated the deeper meaning of the sweet lyrics to this little chorus. It means so much more than my childish interpretation of keeping a smile on my face. My reflections of the song produced these ideas:

  1. No matter where you are in life it is important to leave a positive impact on your surroundings.
  2. Not everyone can be a star, but we can all shine brightly as the glow of even the tiniest of candles.
  3. Contentment is of vast importance.

Paul so eloquently declared in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Brighten the corner where you are!

Upon doing a little research into this song I discovered that our children’s version was not a part of the original song. This song was written in 1913 from the frustration of a lady evangelist, Ina D. Ogdon, when her hopes to preach to thousands of people on the Chautauqua circuit were vanished due to a serious automobile accident involving her father. She wrote this song to encourage others to make the best of their situation. In time she became resolved to her circumstances and accepted it as God’s will.

It is not of great importance to be someone of renown; however it is of great value to let Christ be seen in you as you shine for Him. As we begin a brand new year, let us brighten our corner of the world as we shine vividly with God’s love and emanate His presence.

And by the way, how many of you remember that little song?




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