Brightener or Bummer?

So I’m at mom’s, and I realize that my hands always look dusty. Like I’ve swirled them around in a little dirt. Then I notice that there is a light gray film over the tray table that holds my work files. And the white garbage can is displaying swirls of gray. I put on my Nancy Drew hat and pull out my magnifying glass. We have gray. On a lot of stuff in the apartment. No room is spared. Go figure!

Fast forward a few hours to 2:00 a.m. I’m up with mom and I start Googling. Long scrolling made short, I discover that it might be from the cute little scented candle in the living room. Who knew! There’s nothing gray around the candle – on the shelf it sits on, or on the wall next to it – but apparently, it’s possible that the smoke has permeated into the apartment and added a light touch of gray to the décor. Especially on anything white. (It’s still hard for me to believe it’s the candle. I mean, there was a gray film in the silverware drawer!) Any-whoo… My sister Julie and I create the cleaning list and go full-on soot clean-up. Even my favorite youngest niece, Julia, comes over on Saturday to tackle the window blinds and vents. Bless her. 

One cute little Cooling Eucalyptus candle has messed with my priorities, created a not-so-clean apartment, and increased how many times I have to wash my hands every day. Bummer. That little candle sure had some influence, didn’t it?

Then I started thinking …

That little candle is also able to bring light into darkness. It helps us find our way when it’s too dark to see. It brings warmth. And talk about influence … you bring together a whole bunch of candles – spread them out around the room – and the darkness vanishes. Everything looks different. Everything is brighter.

And then…

At the same time I’m trying to decide if I need to order hazmat gear from Amazon, (OK, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad…), I read this in my morning quiet time …

Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart …” (Proverbs 15:30a NIV)


Robert Louis Stevenson said this …

“A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound note. He or she is a radiating focus of good-will; and their entrance into a room is as though another candle had been lighted.”  (From Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson)

THAT’S how I want to live. You too? I want to bring the bright! Oh, just think of what our homes and work cubicles and churches and schools would look like if our showing up lit up the space! And here’s what’s so neat about this … the candle isn’t making noise. It’s not the life of the party. It’s not doing anything but bringing brightness – a spirit of joy. A smile.

We can do this, my friend. Especially now, during this Christmas season when people are worn out, brains are fuzzy, and our eyes are glazed over.

Let’s bring the brightness.
Let’s bring the joy.

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