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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Candle and the Flame

A man searching for God lived in a world of darkness. When he looked around the world he lived in, all he saw was sadness and the bad choices of humanity. But the man loved God, and truly wanted to find his presence in the world. The man looked all over but even he himself was dark, and though he loved God, he acted badly himself, adding to the darkness. But still the man was determined to find the light of God in the world.
One day while the man was out walking he saw a candle in the window of the home he was passing. Just like every other home on the street, it was dark. The man thought it was just an ordinary candle, nothing special, and though it gave just a bit of light to the world, the man didn’t think it anything special. So the man walked on, continuing his search for God’s presence.
On his walk the next day, the man decided to walk by the candle again. He spent a little more time looking at it, and realized that it was a rather beautiful candle, prettier than most, but to him still just a candle. He walked away for a second time, but the candle held a place in the back of his mind.
The man started to frequent the candle each and every day, and as he began to know the candle better and see it for what it really was, he began to fall in love with the candle. The candle was the most beautiful candle he had ever seen. Once he really began to look at it, he realized that it gave off more light than any candle he had ever seen. It seemed to brighten everything around it. He also noticed that the candle gave off more heat than he had ever felt come from a candle, it warmed his heart and everything around it, and made him happy once again. It made him see God’s presence in the darkness, and because of this, the man became more like God. Even more, the candle lit up and warmed the heart of the man, who took the spirit of the candle with him wherever he went. This helped him brighten the day of others he saw, because they started seeing God’s presence in the man.
Every day the man grew more and more in love with the candle, and every day he longed to take it home with him so he could be in its presence. However, the man soon realized that the candle was not meant to be his. Although the candle showed him the light of God more than any other candle he had seen, the candle was made to be somebody else’s. This greatly saddened the man, for all he wanted in life was to love the candle who so helped him love God.
Every day it got harder and harder for the man to come and look at the candle. The candle seemed to grow more beautiful and shined brighter every day, and the man only felt pain when he looked at it. Because of this, the man’s world soon turned to darkness yet again. He blamed God for putting in the world a candle that he so loved, and then not allowing him to be with it. Finally, one night, the man yelled at God and cried out with all the pain and tears that he kept inside.
God spoke to him. God told him that His presence in the world was not shown in just one candle, but in everybody who loved. He said that the man who loved the candle was now a sign of God for everyone in the world, because he finally realized what it was like to love like God. “I love you unconditionally”, he told the man, “and yet you don’t always love me back”. God told him that this made him sad, but he continues to love us all the same, even though the love may cause him pain. After listening to God, the man realized his pain was worth it because he could offer it up to God to make the candle burn even brighter for the next person to see.
The man realized that God let him love the candle so that he could learn to love everybody, even with the darkness. He realized that it was ok to love the candle even if the candle couldn’t love him back, because it was his very love for the candle that helped the candle burn so bright, and it was that same love that would make him burn bright as well.
The man then looked at his own heart, and saw a flame burning inside it. He realized then that beauty came from God burning deep within you. The reason the candle had been so beautiful was not only that it was a stunningly gorgeous candle, but because the candle had shown him God’s love like no one else in the world had.
Realizing this, the man set out into the darkness to help other people find God’s presence in the world. He would be God’s flame of love for anyone who needed it.

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