Monday, December 22, 2008

Advent Poem #5: Candlewick

by Virginia Knowles

Burn with holy flame!
This is your destiny
Slender thread, stiff stub of wick
Down and down, lower, low
Snuffed and silent…
Then lit to blaze again awhile
Amid liquid wax and taunting draft.
You flicker blue and gold
Bright and hot
O light the way
Hallow the table
Illumine the Book
Kindle these candles!
When lower reaches lowest and there is no more of you
Humble service is over
Your destiny here has been fulfilled
And the flame is snuffed one last time
Then you shall join the blaze of glory
Higher, higher and higher more
Bright and hot, holy and pure
Shining ever in the presence of the Eternal Flame!
Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1

And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Philippians 2:14-16

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. Matthew 13:43

I wrote "Candlewick" a few months ago, thinking it might be my "official" Advent poem for 2008. Later, I wrote "The Story Did Not Start with a Stable and a Star" instead, but I wanted to send this one along anyway, especially after some thoughts popped into my head yesterday at church.

This poem makes me think of different people who have shown the light of Jesus through their quiet, humble service. People like my mom, Mary Quarrier, who takes care of her elderly parents every day and night, with much love and tenderness. People like my friend Kathy, who, just a few days ago, stopped to give a ride to a girl who was carrying some heavy packages. It turns out the girl is 16 and 4 months pregnant. Kathy took her to our friend Allura, who let the girl stay with her overnight and then tracked down her grandmother and brought her there. Today, Allura is delivering Christmas gifts to Wanda, a needy mom of four. One of these precious little ones is still safely in her womb because Allura kindled her light of conscience in front of an abortion clinic a few months back. My friends Valencia and Denise are leaving later this week for four days in Haiti, bringing down gifts and food and LIGHT into a scene of abject poverty. Our senior pastor, Danny, will go down there next month. My friend Angela ministers to children in remote mountain villages in Bolivia, and will be a mentor to my daughter Julia, who plans to work with her there for at least two or three months, leaving in just a few short weeks. My friend Rich takes teams of young folks downtown twice each month for outreach. My friend Viv in Australia is looking for ways for her family to serve orphans in Africa. It is such a privilege to have these ladies and gentlemen, these candlewicks, as my friends and examples who kindle my own stiff stub of wick.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine! Join me!

1 comment:

  1. one of the examples in my life is my pastor, from Portugal, who, with his wife and four young children, has given up all to come down to Australia, and minister to drug and alcohol dependants. Not only his humbleness and meekness are inspiring, but his absolute dependance on God, shows up my lack.


Related Posts with Thumbnails