In the month of January, I light a candle every morning. It started as a thing on a list of to-dos. “Light a candle first thing in the morning” A reminder to be a light to this household; to remind this household to be a light. It turned out to be a shining light of hope and a light to my early morning reading in the dark.
I’m talking to a friend and she’s sharing how difficult life is, how it hasn’t changed the way she expected. My other friend encourages, she speaks the words clear, words of hope: “Yes, but the difference, now that you are in Christ, is that you are not without hope.”
You’ve encountered trials, but you are not without hope.
I see a man sitting near the street, in front of a gas station. He isn’t homeless, I can see that, his baseball cap and Seahawks shirt, his jeans and his bicycle with a wooden trailer attached don’t speak of rags or riches. He’s not homeless, he’s just down on his luck.
The empty water jugs in his make-shift trailer, a sign of his hope for income.
Where is his shining light of hope? Where does he find his peace?
I see it there in his hand, sitting there in front of that fueling station, cars humming past him on the busy Monday morning commute. The world around him is getting back to work, getting back to life – he’s trying to just make it by. Hope held in his hand.
I think of my own hope. I wonder how to keep this closeness, how to remain connected to the vine when the schedule is off, when the “quiet” times are drowned out by the loud ruckus of life. So often, I’m trying to find the peace from without, forgetting that this Immanuel, this God with us, this Prince of peace, this God come to dwell in us, carries all the quiet my thirsty soul needs to survive.
In his hand he holds a ticket, his ticket of hope. He’s scratching this ticket, scratching, scratching, scratching. Methodically scratching away all his cares, laying all his hope right out on the side of the street.
Scratching for hope.
I drive on. Wondering about that man, wondering if those tickets brought disappointment, wondering if he has enough empty jugs to make ends meet. Wondering if all this scratching for hope is bringing him peace,
or just more emptiness.
I keep lighting my candle each morning, keep reminding myself to be a light, keep reminding myself of The Hope. I’m scratching at the idea that it’s not about setting aside times to be with God, it’s about abiding in the One who goes with me, even to the ends of the earth. I can scratch and claw for things that will fill these gaping holes, or
I can rest in hope of His glorious light.