“A single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” Anne Frank
“I am waiting in a silent prayer, I am frightened by the load I bear in a world as cold as stone. Must I walk this path alone?…Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness…”
It’s that time of year—with family, friends, decorations, lights, trees, gifts, music, yummy spicy smells, cookies—Christmastime. So many love to start celebrating early each year and keep the Christmas music going and the tree and lights up through winter. We all love the storybook Christmas.
But this time of year is also sadness and loneliness for so many—often magnified because of all of the lovely holiday trappings. Life doesn’t stop because it’s Christmas. Every year, I seem to be more acutely aware of this side of Christmas, of the messiness of life, of those who are hurting. I can take cookies, send gifts, say words of encouragement, pray for peace and healing—but the sadness and pain are still there. There are those walking through a dark night of the soul, and Christmas lights don’t take that darkness away.
There are so many.
He is Light. Jesus. He knows the pain and loneliness and darkness. For those of us who love this season, may we remember why we love it. All the fluffy things are wonderful, but God became flesh in the midst of a dark and hopeless world to bring light—the true Christmas Light. He gives hope—because we all need it.
So each night during this season, I light a candle for those whose pain is magnified during Christmas, and I’ll pray for some small comfort, some small light to guide them. Even the small flame of a candle can lead us out of a dark night.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.