The Gentleness of Candlelight

In his blessing "For Light," John O'Donohue writes:

When we look into the heart,
May our eyes have the kindness
And reverence of candlelight.

As a writer and as a spiritual director, my life's work is to gaze into the heart, to seek out the quiet, hidden places where God speaks. As John O'Donohue so beautifully wrote, candlelight is just the right amount of light with which to explore these interior spaces. When there is too much light, we become overwhelmed and blinded, unable to comprehend what is right in front of us. Too much light is painful. And too much darkness? Is just that - dark, lonely, and often frightening. And so I travel by candlelight, creating small, gently lit spaces in which to sit and to wonder. The gentleness of candlelight is the perfect light with which to explore our own sacred stories, our individual tales of how we experience God in our lives, the invitations we are hearing, and the ways we are responding. 

I feel self-conscious even writing those words on this second day of February 2017. The gentleness of candlelight? When our world is blazing with the intense light of the public realm?In our charged political climate, it feels like the important stories are the BIG stories: the ones unfolding on a national and global scale. Those are the stories that demand our attention and our energy, and rightly so. This feels like such a strange time to be starting a blog that focuses on our individual sacred stories. But maybe that is exactly why this is the right time to start this blog. The bright light of the world around us makes it challenging to see what is within. The big stories can drown out our own stories. We need spaces of quiet, of rest, of wonder. We need some silence if we are to hear God speak.  

I hope this blog will be that kind of space for you. I'll be posting once a week or so, sometimes with original blessings and prayers, sometimes with stories from life with my three kids who are also my best teachers, and sometimes about the way God is speaking to me through what I'm reading. May my words create room for you to explore your own sacred story. May we each find enough silence to hear the small, still voice of God. I'm looking forward to this journey with you, and I'm holding a candle to light the way.