last night as a part of the Christmas Eve service at church we were all handed thin white candles with the paper skirt to catch the wax at the end of the service. i felt a lump in my throat as i thought about God as light offered to the world and heard the words that this light cannot be overcome. Darkness seems so powerful right now my heart told me. The lights went out and as i watched row by row go from darkness to light, i was choked up. then the light was passed to me from seemingly the most giddy young couple, and i turned to light Hannah's candle.
Inside as i watched her eagerly desire this light and then with her usual determination get it lit, she held it high in front of her face. and my face was engulfed with fat wet tears. the deepest most profound desire ran through me as i hoped with all my heart that indeed, this beautiful girl, my daughter, would indeed come to know the light and receive it. That she would pursue Jesus and find comfort and hope and wisdom. I had never before felt such a desire for her, and there seeing her face lit up i was enamored and beaconed to spend all the rest of my days praying for her more genuinely. i forget to pray as regularly that she may really come to know Jesus.
this Christmas was actually quite funny as i observed more astutely all the messages she was taking in about the season and one day she came home with a candy cane and a print out with the candy cane. The paper offered many ideas of why the candy cane was the candy of Christmas symbolizing a Shepherd's staff, and even a J if held upside down. It also said that the white signified washing of sins, purity, and the red was a mark of Jesus's blood. A few days later as Hannah is again given a small candy cane, she says to me, "mom, i just licked off the blood." oh boy. i giggled a little and thought how terribly confusing all these messages and words are and how preciously absorbent my girl is.
fast forward to the candle night i wanted so much to explain in every way i knew what the light was about, what my tears were about, what i hoped for her. And i tried. But mostly, what happened was that my heart became overwhelmingly hopeful and burdened for her that she may seek and find. That her curiosity and learning would lead her to a meaningful understanding and relationship with Jesus.One i know does not promise her ease and pain free days, but a life i believe offers her wisdom of how to love and live. So here i am, just as i was in the final minutes of the day to kick off advent, in the last hour of Christmas day, thinking how my hope for room for Jesus expands again.