We had some big storms sweep through here on Sunday night. Thankfully not as damaging here as they were elsewhere, but big and loud and brash just the same. The kids pressed their noses against the windows and watched the wind go to battle with every tree on the street. The next morning revealed a blessedly small limb out front that just barely grazed the side of the house.
It's darker here in the afternoons and I'm lighting a candle each day. Just having it there, flickering away, centers me somehow. A glimmer of light shining away the day puts each moment into perspective, every challenge in it's place.
Daily life is fraught with challenges. A toddler with an ear ache taking out his pain on others. A preteen convinced his life is completely and unequivocally unfair. Coming home to a house that looks like a bomb went off after spending the morning at the grocery store. Unexpected bills coinciding with holiday plans. I wrestle each night with the decisions we've made and the ones yet to come, and sometimes life just seems like one enormous question mark. Each mini trial has dragged me deeper and deeper down into the depths of self pity. My frustration seeps out from my heart into everything that touch - them included.
The thing is - I can't make everything work out. The Gospel doesn't say all is bright and wonderful because everything is easy. It says everyone is broken and God shines through to bring us His perfect light. Maybe I can remember that. Maybe I can call every moment blessed, not because it is simple or always enjoyable - but because He meets me in it. I can be a the broken and fractured channel of His light, or I can be darkness.
If that limb had hit the roof, tore a hole straight through - would God be any less good? Would He love me any less?
One flame ignites another. By embracing His change in us, we start the spiral of events that might just make all the difference.
"Can I try lighting it?" my four year old son holds up that box of matches, hope shining right out of those pleading eyes. "Ok, let's just remember to careful." Together we draw the match across the sandpaper side, and it flashes to light. "Mom, can you feel it? It's already warm!" He gently touches the lit match to the candle wick, lighting the world on fire.
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