“Even the lost find their way home when you leave the light on.” Amy Marie Walz
Before we had all this man made light, there was other light. The humble flicker of a candle, or the soft glow of a well made fire. There was a bonfire to keep sailors away from the rocks, a torch made of pitch held high above the castle walls - to show soldiers weary from battle the way home.
And from old time to our time, people have lit candles. For those they love. For those who are lost to them.
What kind of light do you need to day? Light to sit awhile by; that gently ebbs the stress and strain from the day and brings peace lapping to your feet. Do you need the kind of light that shows you where the hidden rocks are? Light that masters the darkness and turns fear into a distant shadow. Or do you need a beacon that never wavers – light to guide you, or someone you love, safely home?
You may be thinking of someone as you read this. Who is the first person that comes to mind? Someone who holds up the light for you? Someone who helps you see the funny side of your dark days, the person who speaks hope when you feel at a loss? Or maybe it’s someone who makes the candle flicker when they walk in the room, the person who arrives with shadows in tow.
Some people are impossible to forget; people who make a great difference to our lives, for better or for worse.
There are those who see the best in us – our companions on our great adventure, the people who hold up the light for us, the keepers of our dreams. And there are those who seem to see or bring out the worst – the trouble makers, the manipulators, the naysayers. Whatever part these people play in our lives, for better or worse we remember them.
There’s an old Irish saying about candles: A candle is worth lighting because it’s warm and you won’t see the dust on the floor.
Candlelight has a kind of grace about it, it warms a place without showing us all the imperfections that would be visible in the harsh light of day. It’s the kind of light that speaks of hope, mercy and peace. Maybe that’s why we find candles in ancient churches. Light that has been passed on - from a time when there was no other light to be had in times of darkness.
There is an old tradition in these ancient places. There is always a stand, often near the church altar, where people can light one or more of the small banks of votive candles. The word votive means – to promise, to commit or to dedicate. So a votive candle is lit as we commit a person to prayer, or to remind God of something He has promised to do.
Who do you want to light a candle for today? Maybe you know a family who have just lost a father, maybe you have a friend who is in hospital. Perhaps you know someone whose life has changed beyond recognition.
Some people are impossible to forget; people who make a great difference to our lives, for better or for worse. Let’s hold up the light for them today, for those who bring hope to us and for those who are lost to us. Here’s a promise for your prayers -
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1John5:14-15, NIV
Let our prayers be like the candlelight that speaks of hope, mercy and peace. Because even the lost find their way home when you leave the light on.
He believes in you.
Who will you hold up your light for today?