On my desk is a small card and I glance its at every morning and it reminds me of a few things. My beautiful friend far away in America, how light is one of the most beautiful gifts we have and how words can bring peace to even the most troubled of hearts.
“Candle Prayer at a Time of Distress – Beloved and gracious God, I am in need of your presence in my life. I know that you are hidden in the midst of my daily activities but I need some sign that you are with me at his difficult hour. You are the light eternal, may this candle be a sign of your presence, as I place myself in your hands. Amen”
I am holding this until I see my friend as I picked it up after leaving a prayer in Ripon Cathedral, for her, her husband and her son Jake who is hand in hand with angels. As some of you will know I am not a religious person but I do have faith and I do believe there is more to us than this body and mind that we live in and when the urge takes me I will enter a house of God and stay a while, light a candle and enjoy the peace these magnificent buildings can provide.
The candle seems to hold me like a moth who is drawn in by the warmth and light, offering solace, protection from the dark, sustenance and peace. Light. It’s just light and yet how powerful that light is. As a child afraid of the dark, a small light would calm me from all I thought lay in the shadows. As an adult is brings that sense of calm and yet something more that I struggle to put into words. I light candles every day as I prepare my massage room but why do I do that? To symbolise hope, love, faith, warmth, nurturing, protection? The lighting of a candle is important and as each one is lit I say a gentle hello to those I love, some here, some gone, some far away and some walking alongside me.
We as simply mortals can be a light. Some shine brighter than others but always shining. We guide, inspire, attract like a moth to a flame and sometimes aren’t even aware that we do this. It is a beautiful thing, to show another human who us struggling, lost or hurting that from their darkness comes the dawn and it begins with a single light that they can choose to follow if they so desire or are ready to bask in its glow.
How often do we knowingly hide our light? How often do we let it fade, as if blown by a breeze? How often do we allow others to extinguish it or let it die? Shine, shine bright. Shine as if there is only you to light the world around you. Glow like a beacon and draw in those moths who need your energy, your light and your warmth. Live your life as if you are the only one left to shine and never let your light die because with its death you die inside, as do those around you who need you.
We all live lives where our light fades and dwindles, though stresses, life drama, failure, bereavement, mental health decline or sickness and yet if we each day take a few minutes to find what we have, rather than focussing on what we haven’t, that light will burn a little brighter. Find time to look inside and find your glow. What keeps it burning? Knowingly take time to reignite the flame and allow it to shine, if not for you, do it for others who seek its life giving power.
Today I light a candle and it is for you.