Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Candle Lit

“Will we hold candles again? Will you hold my candle?” Ah, Christmas Eve candlelight services at church. Everyone receives a candle that is lit at the end of the service when the light is passed. The older children are given candles with adult supervision. Sydney's candle drips onto her hand and a lovely service now becomes a painful memory.

My daughter had a December wedding. The church was beautiful with poinsettias across the altar. Tall aisle candles lit the way for the bride to walk to her groom. We could hardly keep her from running down the aisle to him. Step, pause, step, pause was tossed aside as she raced down the aisle, her father keeping up the quick pace. The scalloped edge of her train caught on the bases of the tall candle holders. Candles with glass hurricane covers began crashing. Guests quickly reached out to grab the remaining candle posts holding onto them like torches. No one was injured and a memory was added to the family vault.

All faiths light candles in reverence. We light candles for parties, for a warm glow in our homes. Birthday cakes accumulate candles throughout our lifetimes. I’m not sure if they are lighting the last ‘age’ out or the new ‘age’ in. Either way, the cake gets brighter as we age. Maybe there is a message in this candlelight, a lesson of lighting the way for others, of seeing better in a new light and of loss of that warm glow.

Candles will light the way once more on Christmas Eve. They will light once more the way for a small baby who changed the world. Sydney will be concentrating on her candle, but she has learned that sometimes holding a light can hurt. It is the way of life. But her family will always be there to watch over her and rejoice in the light that glows within her.

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