I watched as the last of the Chanukah candles burned out yesterday. Everyone else had moved on to latkes and conversations. I had too but I kept one eye on the candles in the menorah. These three brightly-coloured candles whose sole purpose was to bring pleasure to the viewer held my attention. The flame seemed to mystically come out of the holder, the candle no longer visible. A glorious sight to behold, Light.
I have been thinking about Light during these days that are being stretched a bit longer. I watch from my perch eight stories high how the morning and evening light reflect off windows and paint the scenery gold or red. I stop sometimes and just stare at how light impacts everything. I have not gotten bored with the view. At night, the light from a high rise down the road changes colours every few minutes–red, green, blue, yellow and purple. I find it mesmerizing. I suppose it is my inner child or the artist within that finds joy in these scenes but I am grateful for the Light.
Today was sunny and I spent a good chunk of the day doing a number of tasks in my home–laundry, cleaning, baking, organizing. I felt like that mouse that wanted a cookie. I would start one thing which led to another which led to another and nothing was quite getting done. I would go back into a room and wonder why I had not finished a task before moving on and then get distracted by something else. I swept through my tasks and finally was done. I could take a nap and continue on to some other items on the to-d0 list. I did not finish everything but I am glad for the progress I made. Lots can get done in the Light. I find it energizing.
The Light of the Christmas story is also still coming. Soon enough eyes will turn upward in search of the star that the shepherds and magi follow. The Babe is the destination for the star and for us who follow it. We are blessed by the Light. The shepherds surely never looked up at the night sky again without wondering what had happened to the Child. Perhaps some were still tending their flocks 30 years later, hearing the stories of this man from Bethlehem. Could it be the same one? Did the magi return home and go about their lives any differently? What happens to us when we step into that Holy Light? Can it change us forever? Can it also impact us but the effect wear off and the darkness return? Can we choose the Light and give up on it when the darkness threatens?
I think we can forget the Light. We can get lost in the dark and lose hope. We can fear that the Light will not return. We can go back into the field and forget to look at the stars. We can keep our eyes on the shadows. This year has been challenging for many of us. I do not always understand why certain things happen but I will hold on to the Light. Even in the dark, it is just the glimmer of the Light that fascinates me. All I need is a pinhole of Light. A floodlamp would be nice but I will take what I am given. I will take a moment to stand and watch the sunset and the stars come out. I will trust that what I am given is all I need.
Do you ever watch how light changes things?
Are you tempted to lose hope in the darkness?
Light of the World, shine on me. I will ask for a flood lamp but if you give me a pinhole my eyes will adjust. Keep my gaze ever on you. May hope never falter and peace always reign. Amen.