The candles at the front of the sanctuary were lit, and worship began. Glancing toward the altar, I noticed that one of the candles struggled to remain lit.
Gazing at that struggling candle, I asked myself, “How many people seem fine on the outside, but are actually on the edge of burnout?” My mind flooded with the names of those whom I knew to be caring for aging relatives or young children—or both. I remembered those who were living with chronic illnesses, depression, anxiety or grief.
I wondered about all the human stories that lay beyond my vantage point: those who chose to keep their pain private, those who lacked the emotional energy to seek support, and those too embarrassed to expose their weakness or vulnerability. Lights that once shone brightly can flicker and burn out.
We desire to let our lights shine, but find ourselves struggling and smoldering, often due to circumstances beyond our control. God does not arbitrarily extinguish or reject wicks that burn dimly. God acts with compassion and justice, shielding us, protecting us, and renewing us.
This message is an excerpt from “The light bearers” by Julie Kanarr in the January/February 2020 issue of Gather magazine.