The shade was deep, the breeze was cool and I was safe … or so I thought. I don’t have much experience with palapa’s on the beach and it shows … literally. I have a picture of my sunburn, but I thought you’d enjoy the beach picture more.

I am fair skinned and have ducked the sun most of my life. My saying has always been, “I have three colors; red, white and … peel.” I know that UV is invisible and harmful in large doses. I know that you can get a sunburn on an overcast day. But I was in serious shade cast by a totally opaque object. How could I get such a serious sunburn? I had not accounted for the power of reflected light. After a little web research, I now know that sand reflects 15% of the sun’s UV radiation and evidently at multiple angles.

What about the power of reflected … love? 1 John 4:19 says, We love because He first loved us. There are myriad meanings for love in our society, but all that is truly love … is reflected love. A little earlier in the same chapter, John wrote, Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. When we love selflessly, sacrificially we are redistributing the love that God has shown into our lives. We cannot create that love, but we can reflect it.

In 2005, Spain, using Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology accounted for half of the potential electricity produced in the world. Its accomplished through thousands of mirrors reflecting the sun’s energy to a focused point, usually superheating and vaporizing liquids to run steam turbines. The power of reflected light grows as it is combined from multiple sources. Again … what about the power of reflected love? 1 John 4:12 gives us the answer, No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. Don’t underestimate the power of reflected love or your capacity to be useful in what God is doing in this world.