Monday, November 16, 2015
Tonight, at dinner, I asked my husband "where is our bag of tea lights?"
He told me where to find them.
I pulled them all out and lined them up. Thankfully I had just enough.
We lit them up and whipped out my camera.
This picture might be cliche. Yet another picture of love spelled out in candles.
But you know what, we need more love in this world.
We need more love.
We need more kindness.
We need more giving without strings.
We need more patience.
We need more peace.
So, yes, today I snapped a photo that might seem cliche.
But I stand by my decision to do so.
As Peter Keller says "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
So get your candle lit. And then light another candle. And light another candle. And another. And encourage those to light candles.
This is what happens when you share love. And kindness. And giving.
It multiplies. It goes out in the world. It becomes something.
I'm not naive. It doesn't magically erase all the bad things.
Life is life. And bad things happen. Children die. Adults die. People get sick. People shoot other people. People go hungry. People decide other people deserve to go hungry.
We live not in a broken world, but in the world that always was. Some of our earliest stories are about murder, lust, revenge, death, pain.
This is our world. But that doesn't mean we should stop lighting candles. Or that we should stop loving. Or that we should build (metaphorical or literal) walls and keep people out, because they might hurt us - physically or emotionally.
Because people might also bring us joy. And happiness. They might light our candle on a night when it's gone out. They might show us love. They might change your life for the better. You might change their life for the better.
The thing is, we don't know. No one can see the future. No one can be 100% sure about a person. People we think are just amazing, fall down. People we are sure are bad, can do something really good.
I know there are real threats out there. There is real danger. Some people are really bad. There will be wars and famine. There will be pain and suffering.
I can't erase all of it. I can't make it all go away. But I can try to love. I can try to care for those around me. I can light candles around me. I can reach out to those around me who are hurting, or are in pain. I can bring a neighbor a meal. I can bring a relative a hand knit blanket. I can drive a sick friend to the doctor. I can shower my children with hugs and kisses.
I can't feed 100 people, but as Mother Theresa tells us, I can feed one. I can reach out to one person and do something to brighten their day. I can do something to help them. Even a small something.
I will light those candles. I will love. Even when it's hard. Even when it feels like it's not enough. Even when it feels like it's not helping. Even when it feels like the world is falling apart around us.