From the Vault: Keeping your Candle Lit

This post was previously published in January 2022 but the sentiments are true today as well.

I enjoy candles. My son indulges me by giving me a new one each Christmas. This year, the scent was pumpkin pie spice. I love the fragrance it gives out when I light the flame.

Remember the chorus in Sunday school, “This Little Light of Mine?” It went something like this:

“This little light of mine/I’m gonna let it shine/This little light of mine/I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

In the church where I grew up, we sang this added verse: “Shine all over {church’s name}/I’m gonna let it shine/Shine all over {church’s name}, I’m gonna let it shine.” In my mind, I used to insert the name of my community in the place of the church’s name.

Matthew 5:14-16, familiar to many of us, reads:

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

A few years ago, I heard the song by Kathy Troccoli, “Go Light Your World.” A link to the music video is posted below. This song inspired a vision of me carrying a candle, lit with the flame of God’s love, to others. As I witnessed for Christ, their hearts would be touched. The light of my candle would light theirs as well.

I shared this vision with a minister’s wife, who although retired, worked part-time for our church. I’ve never forgotten the words she said in response:

“Remember those of us who have been working in ministry for a long time, also. We get tired sometimes, and we need to keep our candles lit.”

I understand her sentiment now more than I did back then. It’s been hard to keep my candle of faith burning during this time of isolation. For reasons of my own, I’ve been watching videos of church instead of attending in person. At home, I listen to Christian music, and read my Bible and devotionals. I also read Christian romance novels with their inspiring love stories.

However, none of those things can take the place of meeting loved ones face-to-face. I want to sit down and have conversations with family and friends again. I miss seeing the sparkle in their eyes and their warm smiles as we share our lives and laugh together.

I’m thankful for social media and phone calls which have helped me stay connected to family and friends. Their ongoing encouragement has helped to keep my candle’s flame lit.


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