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I now really understand a lot more about what “a city on a hill” means. I also now know, at least in my opinion, where the term, “Holy Toledo,” comes from.

Walking up the massive hill that the town of Toledo sits on, just a 30 minute train ride outside of Madrid, you can’t help but think to yourself, “Holy Toledo.” The cobblestone streets, the crests on the walls that surround the city, the spires of castles in the distance.

And then the bells from a local church start to ring.

Abby, who was our main translator while we were in Spain, went with us. She had only been to Toledo once before on a school field trip. She pulled up Google Maps on her phone to lead us to a spot in the city – at the top of the hill – that would be the picturesque spot for a photo-op.

So up we walked. The narrow cobblestone streets lined with windows decorated with window boxes overflowing with flowers was exactly what I pictured Spain would look like. Of course, we had to make sure we stayed on the side, close to the buildings, as to not get run over since the roads were so narrow.

Up and up and up we walked. Until we finally made it.


El Greco lived and worked in Toledo for some time. His painting, “View of Toledo,” is considered his greatest surviving landscape.


I could go on and on and on about our short time in Toledo and the magnificent pictures I captured while I was there (magnificent because of the view, definitely not the photographer). But that’s not why I remembered Toledo today.

It’s Day 48 of #100DaysToBraveSummer. And this was today’s Scripture passage:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16

There was no hiding that city that day. There’s been no hiding it since it began. Toledo stands virtually in the very middle of Spain. It’s situated on a gorge surrounded on three sides by the Tagus. You can’t miss it.

Annie wrote this in today’s reading: You have so many chances to share light, to share God, to make Him known to the people who listen to your voice.

As a writer, my voice (I guess you would call it) is read often. It’s always talking about something in the sports world, and is currently gearing up for the high school football season that begins way too soon.

But what I can shy away from with my voice is telling others about Jesus. Afraid it might not be popular. And then I judge what I’ve written by the amount of likes or comments it gets on social media. Based off that “feedback,” I tend to shrink it back down. I’m a sports writer, after all. Who cares if I write about my faith or not?

And then I am redirected to that Scripture passage from Matthew 5. Like the city I visited a week ago, I am also a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. Not because of anything I have to offer, but because of His Light inside of me. And sharing that light is what’s important. Not pleasing other people. Not racking up the social media likes. But making Him known.

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Did I mention once we got to the lookout with the beautiful view of the city that we found escalators?


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