A Prayer For Lighting the Candle

At first the darker, colder days in winter can seem a respite from the warmer, fiery days of summer and fall. But when it remains gray and cold outside for quite a while and hunkering loses its initial appeal, I have a tendency to follow suit and become gray and cold inside. A needling gloom settles in like fog. Life issues loom larger…the heat in the house dries me out…certainly my body and maybe my spirit as well! I can become a bit anxious…the inward and downward spiral can become a little slippery. I can quite easily slide down the rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland and land at the bottom with my back to the door of the Holy of Holies, wondering where the light is. This morning I sat in my “prayer chair” to have some quiet time and glanced over at my desk, where I have sacred objects, which I realize I have been ignoring of late. I felt compelled to light my votive candle. This seemed a little trite…oh yes…the candle to hold the space…but as I lit the match and watched the flame slowly consume the wooden matchstick, I was taken by surprise by a sense of warmth rising in my spirit. A subtle, intermingling sense of wonder and gratitude began to spread within. I transferred the flame over to the candle wick, leaning it into the waxed string. I watched the wick receive the flame and join the match as two heads became better as one. Finally, I held the candle in one hand and the waning match in the other as I always do…watching the match burn down to that final stopping point when it’s charred tip softly flickers and the flame surrenders and disappears. It looks as if it gives up the ghost and a serpentine trail of smoke rises as silently as a prayer. Words came to me that I love so well…“may my prayer be set before you like incense…The lifting of my hands like the evening sacrifice”(Psalm 141). In this brief moment, while performing a task so commonplace, I was smitten by grace. Cupping the candle holder in my hands, I gazed into its soft glow and reconnected with the pilot light of Spirit within. Regardless of my awareness, my feelings, my season of gray chill or fiery zeal, He/She is ever present …ever life giving, unquenchable. The next thing I knew, these words came from within.
A Prayer For Lighting the Candle
Oh God, how good You are…
Thank You for this gift of fire and flame today.
May it warm my spirit
May it bring me light
May it cleanse, heal and teach me
May it live on in my heart as Holy
So that I may go forth and be one who
Gives light
Is Holy
For Your Sake.
“Through the heart felt mercies of our God,
God’s sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those who sit in darkness,
Those sitting in the shadow of death.
Then showing us the way,
One foot at a time,
Down the path of peace.”
Luke 1: 78 & 79
It is my joy to share this with you on this winter’s night. My prayer is that this will bring you a sense of God’s warming love, ever present. I encourage you to light your own small flame and take a moment to ponder the miracle of fire, light and Presence. May it bring you light and comfort within.