Skip to main content

Keep Me Where the Light Is

It’s the Most Wonderful darkest time of the year over here in New England, and we have a new baby which means that when the sun goes down the dance of “will he or wont he sleep tonight?” begins.

The other day as I was walking in the evening (alone for a few precious moments!) the afterglow of the setting sun painted the sky behind dark tree branches with highlights of gold. The words from that John Mayer song filled my head “keep me where the light is” and I thought about how dark this time of year feels and how hard it is to stay in the moments of Light.

Having a new baby is amazing, but also completely disorienting. One moment you feel on the top of the world, like you have figured everything out, and the next moment you are wondering why babies don't come with owners manuals. He started smiling a few weeks ago, and now he smiles at us on purpose and makes cooing sounds when he is happy. I put him under the Christmas tree the other day and it felt like magic… for a moment. A few minutes later he got upset, maybe he was cold or maybe he wanted someone to sit with him and keep him company or maybe he was hungry, but he started crying and quickly escalated to the level that we call “the fury of a thousand sons.”

Keep me where the light is.

It’s the season of Advent, which in the church means that we are looking toward the arrival of Christ. In the Western church we often light candles to commemorate this season. When I was growing up my family had a fake wreath with four candles around the outside and one candle in the middle, the Christ candle. At our church last week the pastor spoke about how God can do impossible things, even though it doesn’t feel that way. He spoke about how the Christmas story holds Hope for impossible things to happen, things like miracles and renewal of faith.
“Lord, I want to believe, help my unbelief.” I pray, echoing the words of a father who came to Jesus asking for an impossible miracle so many years ago.

Keep me where the light is.

In the Hospice world, the time around the Holidays is one of the busiest of the year. It’s a documented phenomenon that many people die in the time period between late November and early January. There are various explanations for this. It’s flu season. More people are spending time indoors and away from sunlight. Depression naturally increases. Loneliness is more acute on Holidays when family members physically absent or when they have withdrawn from you emotionally because you are terminally ill. Whatever the reason, this is the time of year when working in Hospice can feel extremely heavy, and for the last three years I felt that heaviness in my bones.  This year is a welcome reprieve, holding on to tangible evidence of new life and joy.

Keep me where the light is.

Today it was 40 something degrees and sunny so I went for a walk with the little baby babe in his carrier, both of us well bundled because of the wind. The sunlight was on my face and the baby was sleeping. When we got home he stayed asleep for a bit longer. I plugged the lights in for our tree, did some yoga and lit a candle and prayed, “Keep me where the light is- close to You- where perfect Love casts out all fear of the dark.”


Popular posts from this blog

(Honest) Prayers of Intercession

in·ter·ces·sion /ˌin(t)ərˈseSHən/ noun
- the action of intervening on behalf of another

Last week, before flying out to California, I was awake in the middle of the night, feeling my baby move inside my growing belly bump and crying into a pillow. My friend Megan had just been told that the doctors thought her baby boy had cancer.

This precious boy has eyes that light up when he smiles at you. He is the epitome of an almost three year old; he is learning to share, he loves being in any kind of water, and would watch episodes of Dinosaur King on repeat for hours if you let him. Cancer. I can’t even process that word when it is attached to Lester, and now the diagnosis has been confirmed as Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

And so I pray, and in my prayers I invite other people to pray with me, but what those prayers look like might not be what you would expect.

What I think of as prayer has changed a lot over the past 7 years.

I used to think that prayer was saying or writing words to God, and…

Why I resemble Donald Trump’s taglines more than I would like to admit, and why that means that I will not be voting for him.

I’ve lived through a lot of change in the past year.
One year ago I moved to Massachusetts from California, nine months ago we got married, and in a little less than three months we are going to have a baby. Whew! Do you ever wish that you could press a pause button when you find yourself in the middle of a slow day and just take a break from the pace of life? I do, but this has not been that kind of year.

When I’m processing change, I usually get a little more introspective.
This is an example.

At the same time as I’ve had a year of change, full of highs and lows, we have had a year of crazy politicking and quite a few shenanigans.
And lets push the pause button here so that I can tell you- I do not consider this to be authoritative political commentary, it is a personal reflection. If you and I were having a face-to-face personal conversation about my feelings concerning the 2016 election, this is what I would hope to say to you.

It’s been very easy to sit back and look at all …