Day 16: Illuminating

A candle’s flame

will flicker at night;

illuminating space

the flame burns bright.

Yet a candle must

completely give

of itself;

to enlighten one’s room

it must bid farewell.

For its wax drips slowly

no hint at despair;

it donates all to

the sconce it wears.

A smear of sacrifice

a candle lit for you,

standing tall and bright,

itself must consume.

Let’s all light our candles

allow brightness to exude;

the remnants we leave behind

His light eternally renewed.

Before you begin your day:

To make a candle, one only needs to begin with a few ingredients: beeswax, some fat, and a wick. Beeswax, being a hard wax with a high melting point, can create a weak flame. It also requires a slow cool, or your candle cracks. To aid the wax, you blend in some fat.

From the point of melting, you would need some vessel in which to pour the heated mixture so it will take shape. To stabilize the wick into the middle of the container, you press into a bit of the wax. The mixture will, within minutes, cling to the cord, almost as if its suspended in the jar. Finally, you pour in the remaining wax, enveloping the wick to the point of burning. As you illuminate your creation, it offers you all its delicacies. Then, it descends within.

Focus for a moment on the picture above. What would happen if we removed the candle from the jar? You would have to assist its movement, would you not? One side of it would drop faster than the other as the flame danced to and fro. You'd work to push the softened wax upward to prevent it tumbling beyond its boundaries. As it offers itself to you, you would have to become its jar.

To create you, God requires a few ingredients. As He begins, He cradles your brittle shape. He recognizes creation left to its own devices naturally thirsts for swiftness. This desire for the "now" fosters rash decisions, making room for weakness. To aid, He blends in something to ease desire.

From this point, He requires a vessel to provide shape. The object's size and shape doesn't matter because it is what it holds inside that will burn. The final step? To give you a reason to ignite. He offers a small piece of Himself. Not tethered to the jar, but enveloped within, He becomes for you, something to cling to - to guide your flame - to descend with you.

He gazes upon you and smiles. Just before setting you aflame, He ponders, "What happens when the vessel cracks, becomes damaged, or breaks altogether."

"I know, My beautiful creation. I will assist your every movement. If one part of you feels depleted, separated, or severed, I will work to support the wounded vulnerability. If your emotions tumble beyond borders, I will devote My hands to cradle what spills. My dearest candle, I promise, as you offer yourself to me, I AM your jar."

During your day:

For she is the reflection of eternal light,

the spotless mirror of the power of God,

the image of his goodness.

(Wisdom 7: 26)

John 8: 12; Genesis 1: 14-19; 1 John 1: 5-7; Ephesians 5: 8-9

Throughout your day:

INHALE: I am Your candle, O God.

EXHALE: Help me to illuminate my space.

(repeat as many times as needed)

Before you end your day:

...for everything that becomes visible is light.

Therefore, it says:

“Awake, O sleeper,

and arise from the dead;

Christ will give you light.”*


Goodnight; sleep well; know you are blessed.


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