Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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Lighting Candles by Starlight

September 18, 2020



After Lancia E. Smith & J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Through the gathering darkness we carry this light

In our fragile devices through lingering night

As we seek out the lonely, the lost, and the least,

Bringing hope and good news of the King’s coming feast.

 

But the winds of desire, deception, and death

Blow relentlessly, desperate to snuff out the breath

And bright rhythms of beauty alive in each flame

Of the image of God and the song of His name.

 

And before long it seems that the darkness has won

As our flames are extinguished: we fall, one by one

Into swallowing shadows and whispering lies.

Left to groan with creation, we psalm to the skies.

 

 

Like a shaft, clear and cold, a star pierces the clouds

And reminds us of all that our hopelessness shrouds:

That the Shadow is only a small, passing breach;

There is light and high beauty surpassing its reach—

 

A light swallowed by darkness but not overcome,

Ever calling us forth to who we will become;

So we gather together, our Savior in sight,

Lighting candles by starlight, defying the night.

 

And we press on, inviting new travelers too,

Toward the city where God will make everything new,

Where we won’t need the light of the stars or the sun

For the Lord is our dawn and the war has been won.

 



To listen to Michael reading this poem aloud, click on the play button.

 



The featured image is courtesy of  Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.



 

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  1. Jennie Evans says:

    Absolutely great..thanks for posting.. keep up the good work. God bless you

  2. Thank you, Jennie! Grace and peace to you. 🙂

  3. Like a shaft, clear and cold, a star pierces the clouds

    And reminds us of all that our hopelessness shrouds:

    That the Shadow is only a small, passing breach;

    There is light and high beauty surpassing its reach—“
    Loved, loved, loved these lines! Michael! I also was taken by this theme last issue, along with Amy Grimes’ delightful painting, and both inspired the direction of my essay for the issue ‘ Waiting for the Lamplighter’.
    My one stopper was the line following those—I can’t bide a moment of thinking darkness can “swallow” light! —Psalm 139:11b! “…even the night shall be light about me; “. Peace & grace, Denise

  4. Hi Denise,

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m so glad you liked those lines, and I’m happy to hear that I was not the only inspired by Lancia’s words and Amy’s magical paintings. 🙂

    If it helps with the “light swallowed by darkness” line, I think of Jesus who, in a mysterious way, did indeed let himself be swallowed up by darkness and death! We feel the disorientation of that “swallowing darkness” on Holy Saturday, in the space between Good Friday and Easter, when we celebrate that his light has reached even to those darkest depths.

    Grace and peace to you, my friend! 🙂

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