Listening to pain in the lives of family members, dampens joy this season. I’ve been having trouble getting into the mood for Advent and Christmas.
I was feeling that way when I remembered Howard Thurman’s poem, “I Will Light Candles this Christmas,” in his book The Mood of Christmas. I don’t know what was going on in his life at the time, but I’d guess that it had been a hard year with losses and heartaches. The need to light a candle against the darkness comes to us when our lives are burdened . . . In moments we need to be reminded that light still pierces the darkness, even when it seems that light has disappeared. Thurman writes:
“I will light candles this Christmas.
Candles of joy, despite all the sadness.
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch.
Candles of courage where fear is ever present.
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days.
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens.
Candles of love to inspire all of my living.
Candles that will burn all the year long.”
If grief and loss are coloring your world today, may candles of Joy, Hope, Courage, Peace, Grace and Love give you encouragement and strength to face tomorrow.
“The people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16