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At Deer Lake School, in the rainy Lower Mainland, there is a special sunshine reflecting around the atmosphere.

This glow is often remarked upon by visitors, or by hosts when we visit others.What is this special light?It is the light of serving God, reflected best by serving others.When a job needs doing, you'll often find a Deer Lake School student doing it, while smiling!

At Deer Lake School, both students and faculty know that help is often given before it is even requested!

When students see the faculty helping a struggling student over lunch, driving a carload to the basketball game until eight at night, or chatting with students long after school is over, they know they are loved.

In turn, students look for opportunities to help someone else themselves, offering to plan the next fundraiser, helping a classmate with homework, or genuinely welcoming you back after the flu!But learning how to serve takes practice.

While this transpires every day in small ways, sometimes demonstrations need to "hit the road".

Over spring break, 53 of our grade 11 and 12 students and 9 adults, visited the Navajo Nation in Arizona.Teachers and parents worked alongside students, hosting a diabetes awareness cooking class and banquet, laying the cement foundation for a storage shed, building an Earthship Hogan (traditional Native dwelling), putting siding on a house, and cleaning the Native community centre.

Sabbath afternoon provided a bonus exclusive visit to "The Edge," a Native-only special cliff at the start of the Grand Canyon.

At sunset one evening, we took in Horseshoe Bend, enjoying the orange rays on the Colorado River as it winds around the canyon.The favorite attraction, however, was Antelope Canyon, an underground tunnel especially beautiful because of the way the light through the narrow openings in the canyon shines on the walls, in bright orange, pink, red, and even purple, reflecting the sunlight from above.We were moved by the magnificent radiance all around us.

This, of course, is the perfect metaphor for the special light we only receive from God when we sacrifice something of our narrow selves to help others.Demonstrating God's love often results in refracted light:a beautiful rainbow of colour as we each learn to serve one another in our own unique way.

"In the same way, let your light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good actions and glorify your Father in heaven."Matthew 5:16

*Loretta Knopp is the high school English teacher at Deer Lake School in Burnaby