Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Candle in the Window

Many years ago, as a youth, one of my church leaders gave me a candle with a story attached to it as a Christmas gift.  It was a small tealight, not very large, and cost a few pennies to give.  The story however has lasted long since the flame of the candle died out and gave way to a tradition that I have honored every Christmas eve since that time, except for the time I spent in Uruguay, when my dear mother kept up the tradition while I was away, and placed a candle in the window of my room to remind her of me.  I give you my own variation of the tradition of the candle in the window.

Driving through neighborhoods in this day and age, you are likely to see a candle or two in the windows, many representing the light of Christ, or the love of hearth and home.  While this is a wonderful representation, it isn't exactly why, every Christmas eve, I put a lighted taper in my window for all to see.

I shall have to paraphrase the story that went with my little candle from so long ago.  The paper has somehow gone missing over the years, but the sentiment has been en graven in my heart, so I believe I can do it justice.  It may or not be a true story, as I can not verify it anywhere, but I think the message speaks to us just the same.

During World War II there were many in Europe whose homes were void of light due to the blackout restrictions.  This saddened that many residents, but many would still observe the traditions of placing a candle in their window on Christmas Eve.  One old couple, who lived on the outskirts of a small village had prepared their Christmas and were planning to retire for the evening.  Outside their small home, the wind howled and snow swirled in a blizzard of gigantic proportions.  The husband, placed a small candle in the window, and they both made their way to bed.  After a few hours, they were awoken from their sleep by a pounding on the door.  Standing in the snow, was a soldier, lost from his unit, and frozen to the bone.  The couple took him in and shared from their meager store, and set him by the fire to warm himself.  When asked how he found them, he answered, "I followed the light of your candle.  I knew there I would find God-fearing people who would welcome me in."

Since reading this story, I've placed a candle in my window every Christmas eve, to welcome any forlorn travelers, whether they are lost physically, spiritually, or both.  I want my home to be a haven for those seeking refuge from the storm of life.  Every year, the candle sits in the window, light flickering and reflecting off the pane, reminding me to be that light.  It has become something that I do for myself, to remind me of the true meaning of Christmas, to be Christ-like.  To serve others as He served, to bless others as He blessed.

Tomorrow night will be no different that any other Christmas eve.  I will find a candle, lift the blinds, turn out the lights and put a match to the wick.  The orange flame will cast a glow about the room and I will offer a prayer of gratitude for all I have and all I can share.  It is my Christmas tradition, not born from anything other than my love of the Savior and all He has given me.  Merry Christmas to you, and may you always have a candle in the window of your heart!

*Thanks to Google for the image*

6 Lovely Scribbles to Me:

2busy said...

I love this and the story behind it. "May you always have a candle in the window of your heart" is a perfect ending. I will try...

L.T. Elliot said...

Thank you for sharing this. Tonight, I'll light my own candle. Thank you for lighting yours so that I could find my way too.

Terresa said...

I love this story. It is a heart felt tradition.

Feliz navidad, Teri! Besos y abrazos a ti!

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