Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To be a candle in the darkness…

Lord, a candle stands before me.
It burns restlessly, sometimes with a small, sometimes with a larger flame.
I too am often restless. Let me find rest in You.
It gives me light and warmth. Let me too be light for the world.
It consumes itself in its service. May I also be of service to people.
With this candle I can ignite other candles.
May I also contribute in this way that others may begin to shine.

I came across this prayer when we dropped into a lovely church in Lucerne to light a candle for our intentions. It reminded me of my favourite quote by George Bernard Shaw (which is also the description of this blog). The quote talks about being a splendid torch, but even that torch most probably got its light from a tiny candle... There is something beautiful about the flame of a candle flickering in the wind, that has always drawn me to it. Today with electricity the candle doesn’t have that same significance to give light, but I always see the value each time there is a power cut (when I was in Sri Lanka) and we light the house with candles, its wonderful how even a single candle can pierce the darkness and give light…

I would like to be like a candle, giving light to dispel the darkness rather than just cursing it. This is also the motto of a Sri Lankan association which was started to help the needy called CandleAid formerly known as AFLAC (Association For Lighting A Candle). I came across this organisation when I was at the University of Moratuwa studying engineering and across from our University there was a blind colony which was helped by AFLAC. There were 5 houses with around 7 blind, very old and feeble ladies and gentlemen with no one to look after them. I remember doing a community services project where we went with some Civil engineering students and improved their houses and blocked leaks so that they would not slip and fall when the rain water leaked from their roofs. We also went there a few times to talk to them, take food and rations (they especially loved sweets) and they always welcomed us holding our hands to say hello, they even sang Christmas carols to entertain us… I wonder how they are now… I haven’t visited them for a very long time, I guess life gets busy and then we forget about the less fortunate. Especially living in Switzerland I don’t really see much poverty. Even the beggars here dress quite well. Of course I’m sure they have hard lives, trying to live in such an expensive location with no proper income, but the sheer level of poverty is not so obvious here and when you don’t see them you don’t feel guilty for not doing anything.

I have now hung up the prayer from the church to remind me to be that ‘candle’ rather than just a complaining or cursing the darkness…

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Blogger stuffy said...

candle is a good comparison to ones own life..

1:00 pm, August 10, 2011  
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