Defy and Define the Darkness

11 of 45 Moments of Wonder

One of my favorite moments at Christmas comes during the evening Christmas Eve service at our church. The lights are dimmed and a single candle is lit. In the darkness, one tiny flame shines brightly, bringing light and warmth into the darkness of the night.

And then, in an act of true defiance, that one light becomes two. And two becomes four as the flame is passed from candle to candle until the entire congregation holds their one flame. One flame becomes a hundred and the darkness is no more.

I love this quote from Anne Frank. I think its poignancy is escalated because we know when she wrote it, her world was about as dark as it could possibly be. And yet, she found hope. The light, that spark of hope, defied the darkness and would not yield to it. At the same time, light, hope and joy define what darkness is – an absence of light, an absence of hope, an absence of joy.

Each of us has experienced darkness, that absence of hope and joy. When we are able to find that tiny flame that breaks the darkness and gives us something to hold on to, what do we do? Do we extinguish it? Do we share it with others? Do we cherish it alone?

Today you may be experiencing an absence of light, hope or joy. You may find yourself in the presence of someone desperately seeking light to break through the darkness. Can you find some light? Can you share it? Can you bring good where there isn’t any? Can you bring hope to someone who isn’t feeling any? Can you share your happiness with someone desperately seeking it?

We all need light, even if just a tiny spark, to let us know we have not been abandoned in the dark. How can you be a light in someone’s world today? How can we take our tiny flame and spread it until there are a hundred flames defying and defining the darkness?

You have been my flame in my dark moments. Thank you for reminding me that there is hope and there is joy and that the darkness will only last as long as there is no light. Thank you for sharing your acts of kindness and your stories of overcoming. Thank you for showing up when I needed you. Your light has broken the darkness for me many times. You may know who you are. You may wonder if I am speaking to you. Each of you, has lighted my way by walking with me, reading my words, sharing your stories of courage. You have taken your tiny flame and shared it with me and with others. And I can’t thank you enough.

Thank you for making the world just a little brighter today.

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