"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lighting of the Lamps

Like most adults, I have carried traditions of childhood into my adulthood.  Many good and some not so good.  But one common ritual I’ve recalled of late is the way my daddy would go into the living room each evening about dusk and turn on the “front lights.”  In our home, that meant a light on the front porch as well as a light on an ivy covered wrought iron post at the sidewalk where the brick walk leading to the front steps began.  It was an unwritten sign that said, “Welcome!” to any evening guests or passerbyers.    

I can remember our first years of marriage when my husband didn’t quite understand the custom, but now he’s the one who normally turns our front porch lights on, and he is the one who also flips the switch to say goodnight.

I guess I’m a little funny when it comes to lighting.  For example, on cold, winter mornings when it’s still dark, I turn on the lamps in my “front” rooms for those passing by hoping it will add some warmth to their early morning commute.  Just as God enjoys giving us a sunrise each morning, this is a gift I enjoy giving, whether anyone notices or not.

But lately my ritual has also been the lighting of the lamps in the evening.  It usually takes place after my last music student has departed, dinner is in the oven, the sun is rapidly dropping and evening is beginning to settle in.  For so many years of our lives, this part of the day was something that was missed altogether.  I think it had to do with raising 3 children and being involved in all their activities.  Yes, there are still duties, demands and deadlines; but for a moment, I choose to elongate time and celebrate sunset, and in doing so, experience the present moment.  It never proves anything less than holy.

It is said, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”  So walk with me a moment and let us light some lamps …

Holy Ghost, with love divine,
Shine upon this heart of mine:
Chase the shades of night away,
Turn my darkness into day.

Holy Ghost, with power divine,
Cleanse this guilty heart of mine:
Bid my many woes depart,
Heal my wounded,bleeding heart.

Holy Spirit, all divine,
Dwell within this heart of mine:
Cast down every idol throne,
Reign supreme -- and reign alone.
                                                        - A. Reed

"Stay, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight,
and give Your angels charge over those who sleep."

Just an ordinary moment...


Rebekah A. said...

You, Nancy, bring out the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Marynan said...

You have got a TON of lamps in your house ma'am.

Kay said...

Lighting lamps now!