Friday, January 13, 2006

The Candle


A poem to ponder perhaps when we light our candles before the Lord this week...

THE CANDLE
By Derek Liebenberg

They say the light from a single candle
Can be seen for miles through the gloom
Of a black forgotten night.
They say that the heat from even one small candle
Can save the life of a stranded motorist
Held fast in the icy grip of a blizzard.

Strange.

That one so obsolete in an age of microchips and halogen lamps
Should possess the power
To give hope
To give life.
That the fragile flicker of a flimsy wick
Shines forth with a redemptive power
So much greater than the sum
Of its string and wax.

Imagine.

A billion candles blazing out
Defying the deathly darkness
Undaunted by their own frailty.
Myriads of tiny flames
Gathered in a city on a hill.

Glowing in a symphony of light
A beacon
Beckoning to the weary traveller
Bursting through the black
To fall upon the eyes of those
Whose lives are engulfed
By the grim chill of the night.

Lord.

Grant that the mysterious
Tongue of fire
Shall never become dull or simply peter out.
Ignite hearts yet unlit.
Together
May our fires unite
A burning reflection of your glory
To a generation of unseeing eyes.
Teach us to pass on the flame
To those who follow.
Make us truly
The light of the world.

4 comments:

Matthew Francis said...

A question... does the expression "peter out" have anything to do with the Apostle Peter's denial of knowing Christ? (the rooster story).

Simply Victoria said...

So much greater than the sum
Of its string and wax.

I love that line.

Peter T Chattaway said...

Hmmm, Merriam-Webster says "origin unknown" for the use of "peter" as a verb. Answers.com, The Phrase Finder and World Wide Words all indicate that the phrase probably -- but by no means definitely -- goes back to 19th-century miners, who used the phrase to indicate when the saltpetre they were mining began to run out.

Matthew Francis said...

Thanks Peter.... I guess you have a vested interest in this question!