From the Flame

After the Halloween season, I purchased some seasonal candles on sale. A large one consisted of a layer of orange wax followed by a layer of black wax followed by another layer of orange wax. Most mornings as I read and study, I light a candle, hoping that it will bring greater light on God and God’s message into my presence. Having burned through the first layer of orange wax, when I peered into the candle to extinguish it at the close of study, I was captivated by the bright light burning in the black wax. I thought how symbolic it was—a bright Light burning in the midst of an often very dark and dangerous world. When I consider the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, I wonder how long God’s people today will have to wander—probably a lot longer than 40 years!

So much frustration and negativity is often directed toward our leaders, each other, and even toward strangers. Many faceless people on social media feel free to criticize, bully, and even threaten and harass others for what often seems like inconsequential reasons. Where do folks feel this right comes from? Just because you can  doesn’t mean you should. Could we, religious or not, at least strive to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?”

When I was a young child, my grandmother taught me the following prayer: “Forgive me if I have this day, done any wrong in work or play. Oh, help me always to do right, and bless me every day and night.” It seems to me that this simple message in its simple prayer would serve so many in our all-too-complex world! We may have the luxury of remaining faceless on social media, but we are not hidden before our Maker.

The Light that burns brightly in the dark burns brightly for all. We don’t have to succumb to the blackness within ourselves or within our world. We can always rise above the darkness and carry the light forward. As Christ said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, NIV).

Heavenly Father, please let Your Light burn brightly in our world and “let it begin with me.”

Sandra Jones Cropsey is a playwright, novelist, and children’s writer. Her novel Who’s There was a finalist for the 2008 “Georgia Book of the Year” and was produced as a play in 2010 by the Main Street Players. In 2009, she received a grant to produce her children’s story, Tinker’s Christmas, as a radio drama. Presently, she is working on scheduling a reading of her new play, “All My Trials, Lord.” She writes at

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