Playdates with God: Light

This morning, I light a candle and whisper a prayer to Jesus to make his presence known. The light flickers and I think of our Advent wreathe … all the candles spent, wax hardened around their skirts. In church yesterday, we lit the Christ candle, still flocked by greenery and those other four extinguished lights. 
In the olden days, the pre-Christian German tribes lit candles as a sign of hope during the long, cold days of winter. These ancient peoples prayed to the god of light to “turn the wheel of the earth” back toward the warming light of the sun.
They did not know who he was. But we do. We have this: good news of great joy.
We light these candles, not to turn the wheel of the earth. For it is our hearts that need the turning. The prophet Jeremiah tells us the heart is deceitful above all things…and isn’t it the truth? Don’t our hearts seek all that shimmers, that great noisy bustle, the crazy excess that this season offers?
Don’t I worry that the gifts I bring won’t be enough?
I sit in this warm house and listen as wind murmurs against the chimney; I watch through the window as it dances with undressed trees. The lights on the Christmas tree still wink soft and my boys’ voices drift down the stairs to me—they are lost in some game that only brothers understand.
This moment pulses with light—this point on the wreathe journey flickers and then fans into flame. Christ is all Light. And I know the real joy of Christmas is not in the manger. It is right here—in this moment and in all the moments he has given us in this resurrected life.
great wheel
groping, swinging
me around…
back into warmth
away from darkness
and into hope.
light a candle
in my heart for
every moment,  
until the flames
consume all with
the red blood of

your love.

Over at The High Calling today, John Blase is sharing a little about his time with Brennan Manning when he helped co-write his memoir, All is Grace. Will you join us there?

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

The Playdates button:


  1. says

    Laura, I love how you find the sacred in the simple, every day moments. Loved this post!

    I have “a thing” for candles. If the house gets a little dark in spirit due to life crashing in, I light a scented candle and find a cozy spot to read and pray. I don’t know why the candle helps, but it does.

    Hope you have a great year’s end celebration with your boys! Hugs

  2. says

    It is good to be reminded today of this:

    “And I know the real joy of Christmas is not in the manger. It is right here—in this moment and in all the moments he has given us in this resurrected life.”

    Today is the moment that matters most; his presence is with me in the now. Thanks, Laura.

  3. Jody Ohlsen Collins says

    Laura the poem was poignant and really spoke to me, especially these lines, “until the flames
    consume all with

    the red blood of

    your love.”

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately at 3WayLight how God often uses fire to consume the not-God in me to bring out the Jody that looks like Jesus….
    Thank you for bringing the light of Laura and God’s love to us.

  4. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    For a very long time in my life I tried very hard to somehow make my deceitful heart more acceptable to God. Thankfully He opened my eyes to see that Jesus doesn’t transforms our fallen hearts in any way, He actually replaces it with His own life and all we have to “do” , is to receive His life from the one moment to the next!! This just changed my life for which I am eternally grateful! Great poem, dear friend.
    Blessings for 2014 XX

  5. says

    I love your heart, Mia. What a blessing you have been to me this past year. Thank you for your beautiful words and kind encouragement in 2013. The sweetest of New Years to you!

  6. says

    Yes, Lisa, yes. I’m still learning this. Over and over. Living into each moment, finding the holy there. Thank you for your friendship. You have been a blessing to me in 2013.

  7. says

    Candles make everything more special, don’t they? Just that simple act of slowing down to light seems to be an embodiment of grace for me. Love to you, Lyli. Many blessings in the year to come.

  8. bluecottonmemory says

    Praying that my heart turn to Him, that His light shine within, shine outward, praying that I find the quiet time to hear my boys voices talking and the wind blowing – and hearing Him. Beautiful Laura – so beautiful how you hear Him in the daily!

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