Even the Smallest Spark is Enough

Every time I light a candle, I am vividly reminded of the gift of faith. As I watch the candle wick catch flame, I marvel at the way a soul can suddenly transform to light, once it receives even the smallest spark. To go from not knowing Christ at all, to knowing and believing in Him, is much like that mysterious combustion from darkness to light.

Those Who Have Not Heard

Today’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans attests to his zeal for conversion of souls. He declares that he has made it his ambition to preach Christ not to those who have already heard, but those who have not, so that “those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”

For me, as a convert from outside the Christian fold, these words strike a powerful chord. While countless people all over the world have heard of Jesus, many (if not most) of them have never heard the true Gospel. I certainly hadn’t, until I read the New Testament for myself in college. Do we think about the many non-Christians around us who have never known who Jesus really is? Who have never received the invitation to know Him? These souls outside the Christian fold are continually in my prayers.

Engaging the Non-Believers

Here a few examples may help to illustrate what is at stake:

When I told one of my close Hindu friends that we believe Jesus is God, he shook his head in disbelief, objecting, “God could never become man.” His incredulity actually highlighted the shocking truth of the Incarnation. Do we take time to stare in wonder at this miracle? If it doesn’t shock us, how can we expect to proclaim this to gift others?

I once heard of a Buddhist college student who had been given a Bible by a Catholic missionary on campus. He had nothing else to do that night, so he ended up reading the Gospels from start to finish. The next day, he ran up to the missionary and waved the book in front of him, crying out as if it were the most pressing question in the world, “Is this true? Is it all true?”

Lastly, one of my Hindu friends recently lamented to me the bewildering nature of human suffering. She was going through a season of sorrow that didn’t seem to make any sense. Here, I shared with her that for us who believe in Christ, when we look upon the Cross, we know with conviction that God understands our suffering. In fact, he has redeemed it.

Invite Others into the Miracle

These are but a few stories to remind us of the vast difference between a life lived in knowing Christ, and a life without Him. A miracle has been entrusted to us; do we take time to consider those who are starved of that gift? People who, because they are raised in a different religion, have never encountered the explosive reality of who Jesus really is?

Today, let us take the words of St. Paul to heart. I invite you to pray for the non-Christians around you, whether Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or agnostic. We all have such friends in our circle. They may be starving for the faith that only you can reveal to them if you take courage! Let us pray for the right opportunity to invite them into knowing Christ. Be willing to speak the name of Jesus to others who have never heard it. Set your flame of faith to the wick of another person’s heart. You may be surprised by what happens.

Even the smallest spark is enough!

[Readings: Rom 15:14-21; Lk 16:1-8]

Radhika Sharda, MD

Radhika Sharda is a practicing physician and a convert to the Catholic faith from a Hindu background. She has written a book of essays on literature, Savour, which may be found on Amazon. She lives in Raleigh, NC, with her three young boys.


  1. Cosmo+DiCioccio on November 10, 2023 at 12:05 pm


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