My Megan girl has this candle. It’s a small, white, ceramic thing, filled with wax and wick. Wildflowers are etched into the side, and one ceramic violet decorates the lid. I don’t remember where it came from! Maybe a gift from Grandma?
Megan carries this candle around the house with her, from room to room. It watches movies with her and has snugglebuggers in her fluffy blue blanket. It’s her own candle, and she loves it! So when she asked me to light it while she painted a picture, I wanted to make sure she understood what would happen. I tried to talk her out of it.
“If I light your candle, it will burn up. You understand that, right? Your candle will be all gone.”
“I know,” she said, all smiles. “I want to burn it!”
And so she sat at the table and painted with watercolors, her candle burning bright beside her.
I knew there was a lesson. Kids are great teachers! But it didn’t hit me until I was vacuuming my bathroom. (I usually just clean when I’m mad at my husband, or my family’s coming to town. My house is dirty right now, as you know, so I guess we’re on a pretty good marriage stretch!)
“Why be afraid to burn up? Why be afraid to live, just so I stay the same? Why do I want to stay the same? Isn’t the Christian life in particular about giving, and giving, a giving? Pouring ourselves out? Burning up with passion for others? Dying so that we might have new life? And living with such abandon that others might be drawn to the Flame? To Jesus?”
Yes. That was it — the thought niggling at the back of my brain. Thank you, sweet daughter, for living your life with all the reckless abandon of a 4 year old. Your mama needed that!
Be burning-up lives with me this week, yes? I know my kids will appreciate my warmth.