It’s 12:48 a.m. as I write this. I have no words for prayer. A few hours ago I received an e-mail. A young man name Charlie died yesterday. He was 24. His mother, Peggy, is a friend of mine and a pastor. I pray for the family, but then words seems so hallow and inadequate. The loss, shock and sympathy I feel for my friend leaves me numb. I am bifurcated between pain and peace. Pain for my friend and her family. Pain for the 16 months of battling cancer. Pain for not being able to imagine losing my child. Peace because I know the family. Peace because I know they know God. Peace because Easter is coming. Peace because there is good news. Peace because in the stillness God moves. The Psalmist said, “Be still and Know that I am God.” Perhaps, those words were for hours like these. When nearly 1:00 a.m. with news of loss feels like nearly eternity and where 24 years seems not nearly enough.
I light a candle and just sit in silence with God and let his peace quietly flow. 1:00 a.m. is a dark time, a quiet time, a lonely time, but the sun is coming. So I light a candle in the dark and wait in silence. Some times thats what you have to do. The darkness is at hand. The hour is lonely. Light a candle. Dawn is coming. Easter is coming. Wait with a lit candle in the darkness and know that God is God. My candle burns here for Peggy and her family. In a way, perhaps I am a candle in doing so.
In your prayers you can be a candle as well for those who are in the dark. You can be that bit of light pushing back the darkness until the dawn comes. Prayer for and with those in the dark. Light a candle. Be a candle.
Peace to you from within that deep dark that precedes the dawn,
The Practical Disciple, John