Light in the darkness

I have this memory, it’s almost like a photograph. Maybe because it actually is. 

Little four year old me, rehearsing my very first Christmas play. 

Boldly performing, the kitchen step as my stage. A candle – a real one, because that was still allowed. I held it proudly, yet as far away from my face as possible. 

I loved the pretty little flickering flame, but was terrified of the fire, as I went over the lines of my song. 

Remember that one? About shining our little light, each from our very own little corner? 

I felt it to my core. I was committed to the message – because spreading light and hope and happiness, that’s what I was all about. 

Little did four year old me know, that really shining that light, meant stepping out of my tiny corner. Meant facing real darkness. 

Should I tell her, that darkness is not just stories and fairytales?

It is found in papers about politics, data about depression, in closed closets and so called social media. In rampant racism and persisting poverty. If only it were out there, so we could close our eyes to it, and wish it away. But we can’t escape from our own shadows, when anxiety is tangible, and hypocrisy hurts our own hearts. 

Please let us protect this little candle. It is our only hope. 

I saw it again in my own little girl today. As she shyly joined her kindergarten friends in a song about a star lighting the way. If only you knew, I thought. If only you knew how much I need to hear. How much I need my eyes to be opened, that flame to be protected and nurtured. 

Light of heaven, help me see, ignite the spark. Tell me the story again of that little baby that was born in the not -so -silent night. Thank goodness this not by far a fair fight:

As soon as the candle is lit, the button is flipped, darkness dissolves, it has no place to hide. 

His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it. 

So today, 

May we have faith like a child

May we step out of our little corner

May we be innocent and trusting like those 4 year olds

Yet grown enough to face the shadows inside our own hearts

Boldly flipping switches and lighting candles

Fiercely protecting what hope is left. 

May your eyes be open to see the light of the world. May it bring life and hope and joy.

May you be light.  

(Geschreven voor Vineyard Amsterdam Christmas Eve – 2021)