They’re for celebration, wish making, for seeking hope in times of darkness. They light the way in time of darkness. Darkness. Because thats what we do, in those times of darkness we look for the light. Light means safety and safety is comforting.
When I think candles I think of birthday parties. One of the things I forget all the time about candles is how relevant they are in religious fixtures. I went to church the other day and at the pulpit someone was lighting candles. Why’d I go to church? I’m not a Christian, hell I’m not even religious. So it begs the question, why did I go to church? I’m in Finland and there are a number of churches around. I can just walk in and sit down and no one will even pay me any attention.
Can you tell that I’m avoiding the question?
I went because a few days ago I learned that at any moment you can have a brain aneurysm. You can be walking with your daughter to get ice cream and you can collapse and die and thats it. One minute you can be planning your wedding and then someones planning your funeral. In an instant everything you’ve done, everything you are, and everything that you were working towards can come to an abrupt end.
People die. I get it. People leave. I get it. Its part of gods plan. The older you get theres more of a chance that you’ve experienced loss. Some more painful than the other. Some leave you with a gapping hole in your chest that you try to fill anyway possible. Sometimes you lose people that you don’t care a lot about. Sometimes you lose the people closest to you. And sometimes you lose the people you need. Right now it feels like all of them.
Not a person I was overly close to, or at least not anymore. Not a person I’d move heaven and earth for, not a person I always felt I needed. So how can it feel like all 3? Because it was a person who I had hope for and in. A person that I looked up to. People die and they leave us behind to fill the void anyway possible. I’ve looked for a lot of things in my life to fill the void left by all the people that aren’t with me anymore. I haven’t tried organized religion, I won’t, not yet.
So I sat there and watched as the candle was lit. Delicately the candle was lit, and then another was lit and another all with the same stick. A steady hand and a little direction and soon candlelight filled the pulpit.
As one candle was extinguished another was lit, all it needed was a little guidance.