Candle or Mirror?

Quote by Edith Wharton in Vesalius in Zante “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it”. All my life my mother has chided me to light a candle in the darkness. I think of that every year at Easter Vigil, certainly. But I think of it when the battle seems hopeless. I get worried that we keep separating into enemy camps, each accusing the other side of this, that, or the other infraction.

Today I say—I want to reflect my own candle. I get worn out when it feels like people are blowing each other’s candles out. I love to light the way for someone and help to encourage. But then I find myself adopting a cranky and negative attitude. I engage in some ridiculous argument and start researching things to back up my opinion with my own choice facts. I end up being irritating instead of lighting the way. Wow–it’s as though I took my candle into the barn, and rather than lighting the way I set the hay on fire…just to prove it’s flammable.

Well at times like that, I think I need to seek other light-bearers out. I need to back away from the battle no matter how enticing it may be. Is it the Irish blood in me that wants to say “ok, time to fight? Jackets on or jackets off” . By reflecting another person’s light — a like minded optimist who is looking at the good, I can recall the peaceful glow of my own lighthouse/candle. Fighting and arguing is beginning to give me an extreme headache—-and it changes nothing. I love being the candle—because I think that I truly love the glow. But sometimes it is important for me to search for someone else’s light. I cannot carry the world on my shoulders all the time–after all that is God’s job.

Maybe He, the Light of Lights is our candle—and we are His mirrors, and sometimes we are also His little candles. That gives me hope that things will get better. It gives me hope that bias/prejudice/villifying of whoever will someday cease. Perhaps the glow of the light can assuage everyone’s fears. Perhaps we can stop setting each other on fire!

Perhaps we will see that there is a piece of God in each of us. Perhaps I need to go first—and stop worrying about whether anyone else will be patient and forgiving. I know it will happen if we keep trying….I am working on biting my tongue…..and keeping my jacket on! I could really use some prayers!


About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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